Hadassah Strike Continues Amid Settlement Plans

YERUSHALAYIM -

Hadassah Medical Organization staff in Yerushalayim continued their work stoppages even as a court-ordered fiscal rescue plan was launched, until they receive their January salaries in full, The Jerusalem Post reported on Thursday.

HMO spokeswoman Racheli Goldblatt explained that the court decision to freeze the hospitals’ debts set into motion a government transfer of NIS 50 million to Hadassah, matched by the same amount from the Hadassah Women’s Zionist Organization of America (HWZOA ).

The freeze will make it possible for HMO to function and pay workers so the hospitals can continue operating, she said.

“Those who earn up to NIS 10,000 [a month] will get all of what they are owed, while those who earn more — for example, HMO director-general Avigdor Kaplan, who earns NIS 100,000 monthly — will get only 30%.”

However, nurses, maintenance and administrative employees said they would not return to regular work hours until the payment is made.

Beyond the issue of salaries, the bitter dispute was far from settled. Management’s plans to fire hundreds of workers and cut wages temporarily or permanently remain a burning issue that could continue to disrupt hospital services.

On Thursday, union representatives demanded an immediate explanation from Kaplan and the court-appointed trustees about how they intended to back up promised insurance coverage against malpractice claims, a key issue for the doctors.

In the meantime, only urgent care is available; emergency rooms and delivery rooms are running on a reduced Shabbos schedule.