For the first time, bus drivers are to be paid a regular monthly salary instead of an hourly wage, thanks to a new agreement covering drivers for the Kavim bus company, which serves the Sharon region. Drivers will earn an average salary of NIS 13,000 monthly, along with a set pension plan and education fund (keren hishtalmut) savings plan, redeemable after seven years of savings. In addition, workers will all get an annual paid vacation.
The company has 2,300 workers, all of whom will be covered by the agreement. The agreement was negotiated for workers by representatives of the National Workers Committee, the Histadrut Hale’umit. The Committee is an alternative union that represents tens of thousands of Israeli workers, and is not affiliated with the better-known Histadrut that is affiliated with the Labor Party.
Yoav Simchi, head of the Committee, said “it was very important for us to implement a monthly salary. With a salary, workers are eligible for a host of social benefits that they are not eligible for when paid an hourly wage. This is truly a revolution for worker relations in the transportation industry.” Kavim CEO Arik Sinai praised the deal, saying that “our drivers are worth the conditions that were negotiated in the contract. We want to reward drivers for the hard work they do, and I have no doubt that our drivers will be very proud to say they work for us.”