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Guide / Questions and Answers on New Public Sector Framework Agreement

The agreement, affecting 400,000 workers, includes salary boosts and a shorter work week | How much will wages increase, who does the agreement affect and how will the shortening of the work week affect workers?

Histadrut Chairman Arnon Bar-David (pictured center) at the signing of the public sector wage agreement. (Photo: Histadrut)
Histadrut Chairman Arnon Bar-David (pictured center) at the signing of the public sector wage agreement. (Photo: Histadrut)
By Nizzan Zvi Cohen

The framework agreement signed on July 18 between Histadrut Chairman Arnon Bar-David and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich is the largest collective wage agreement in Israel, covering all public sector employees.

The last agreement of this type was signed in 2016 and ended in 2019. The most recent agreement will grant public sector workers a series of benefits, including general wage increases of 11%, a shortening of the work week from 42 to 40 hours, and a welfare program for retirees on the accrual pension track. 

Who does the agreement apply to?

The framework agreement includes approximately 400,000 workers, including approximately 36,000 employees of government ministries (excluding teachers and kindergarten teachers in the education system), approximately 55,000 employees of the health system (excluding doctors), approximately 200,000 local government workers, and approximately 55,000 employees of government companies and administrative employees at academic institutions. 

Professional soldiers, police, guards and members of the Shin Bet and the Mossad are not directly included in the framework agreement. However, their wages are expected to be affected by it due to mechanisms for linking their wages to the wages of other public sector workers, which have been anchored in legislation over the years.

How long is the agreement valid for?

The validity of the agreement lasts until the end of 2027. During this period, salaries will increase in accordance with the agreed outline. 

The wage increases will occur in several phases, the first of which is a wage increase for the lowest paying jobs, aimed at reducing disparities between workers in the public sector. In total, the agreement is expected to directly raise the wages of all workers by approximately 11% during the period of the agreement.

The first wage bump of 400 shekels is expected to apply to the upcoming July salary (2023), which is paid at the beginning of August. Another 100-shekel payment should apply in October 2024.

The following shifts within the agreement are percentage shifts:

  • In the December 2024 salary, the employees will receive a salary increase of 2%
  • In the April 2025 salary, an increase of 1.5%
  • In the April 2026 salary, an increase of 1.5%
  • In the April 2027 salary, an increase of 1%

Is the shortening of the work week expected to affect my salary?

As part of the agreement, the public sector work week will be shortened so that a full-time position will be defined as of October 2023 as a 41-hour work week, and as of September 2024 as 40 hours. The general work week in the economy today stands at 42 working hours.

The shortening of the work week will not affect wages, meaning that the value of an hour of work for a full-time worker will increase. The wages of part-time workers will also increase, since their part-time hours, which are currently calculated according to a full-time work week of 42 hours, will decrease. 

Will all employees in the public sector receive the same bonuses?

In addition to the bonuses that all employees in the public sector will receive, the agreement also stipulates an amount worth about 3% of the total public sector salary, known as a “box”. These boxes will allow the signing of agreements that will include additional wage increases for specific sectors at the low wage levels, in order to correct long-standing wage deficiencies. These sectors include social workers, nurses, hospital workers and court workers. 

In addition, about 50,000 female educational assistants in the local municipalities were excluded from this framework agreement.  A separate favorable reform agreement dealing directly with them is expected to be signed in the coming weeks, which would include increases of about 20-30% to their salaries. 

This article was translated from Hebrew by Matt Levy. 

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