Daily Israel Report

Interns Agree to Resume Negotiations with Treasury

After a lengthy discussion, interns decide: We'll resume negotiations with the Treasury.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 11/20/2011, 4:06 AM

Interns at the Supreme Court
Interns at the Supreme Court
Flash 90

The medical interns announced on Saturday night that they intend to return to the negotiating table with the Treasury.

The doctors voted on this decision and passed it following a lengthy discussion. They are expected to inform the Supreme Court of their decision on Sunday morning.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled that the interns would have three days to decide whether they are willing to re-negotiate with the Treasury for a period of two weeks.

According to the decision made by Supreme Court President Justice Dorit Beinisch, if the interns decide to resume negotiations, they will return to work on Sunday and the parties will then return to the negotiating table. At the same time, state officials will pull the petition they filed to the National Labor Court and which claims the interns committed contempt of court by walking out on their jobs last week.

Despite their willingness to negotiate, however, the interns clarified that they will not return to hospitals immediately. First, they plan on offering an outline for negotiations and if the State accepts that outline, the court will approve it and only then will they return to work.

Channel 10 News reported that during Saturday’s meeting there was split between two camps of doctors, one of which was composed of doctor who vehemently oppose further dialogue with the Treasury, while another was made up of those who believe that negotiations should continue on one condition, that the labor agreement that the government signed with doctors’ unions in August be renegotiated.

The interns in state hospitals were supposed to be covered by that labor agreement, but have since claimed that they were not consulted on that deal and were unable to agree to its conditions, because it did not deal with their problems – specifically the extra shifts and extended hours many of them are required to take on, for very low pay.

The government has held talks with the interns to see how the situation can be resolved, but has made clear that it will not renegotiate the signed agreement, or sign a separate deal with them.

According to Channel 10, some of the doctors who are unwilling to return to the negotiating table have even announced that they are willing to be arrested than to return to negotiations.

“We have talked enough. We have not received a concrete offer. We want to resign, let us go home,” the doctors were quoted as having said.