Foreign Ministry Strike Postponed

YERUSHALAYIM -

The Foreign Ministry Workers Union decided late Sunday to hold off on a threatened strike for higher wages, according to The Jerusalem Post.

A meeting was scheduled for Thursday between Histadrut Labor Federation chief Avi Nissenkorn and Finance Ministry officials, to try to avert a strike.

The strike, which was described as imminent earlier in the day, would affect operations in Yerushalayim and 102 embassies and consulates

Workers are angry that wage agreements made three years ago were never implemented, and that it’s been 10 years since salary levels were upgraded. It was unclear, however, whether a full-fledged strike would be declared, or a work action.

“The salaries in the Foreign Ministry have eroded significantly,” Histadrut chairman Avi Nissenkorn said. “We want our representatives abroad to be fighters for our country, and to do that, they must be paid wages that are fair.”

Union head Hanan Goder said Prime Minister Netanyahu promised him personally, in his capacity as foreign minister, that a new agreement would be signed by February 15, a promise not kept.

“We are not looking for headlines, just our fair wages,” said Goder, who serves as ambassador to South Sudan. “We have tried everything else. We have waited. But we haven’t even received a proposal from the Treasury in writing.”

Four junior Israeli diplomats reportedly quit their jobs in February, due in part to low wages.

“Someone who comes to work at the Foreign Ministry is either an idiot or idealist or their parents have money,” Goder said. “It’s an exciting career, but it doesn’t pay.”