The long crisis in Israel’s hospitals appears to be coming to an end, after the medical residents and the Treasury have reached a document of principles which includes a series of compromises on key issues. The document was drafted following a day of marathon negotiations which began Monday morning.
The announcement on the breakthrough came late Monday night from Professor Yitzhak Zamir, one of the two mediators who were appointed by the Supreme Court to oversee the negotiations between the sides.
The residents who took part in the negotiations will present the document to their colleagues on Tuesday morning, according to a report on Channel 10 News. If the doctors approve the document, the sides could sign an agreement by Tuesday evening, the report said.
According to the report, the new agreement will include grants for interns, a weekly day of rest, and shorter shifts. The most important part of the agreement will see an inquiry committee being established in 2015 to review the collective labor agreement signed between the Treasury and the Israel Medical Association in August.
The residents were opposed to the agreement 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. As a result, many of them announced their resignation and when the Labor Court ruled that the mass resignation was illegal, many residents simply walked off their jobs.
The issue later came before the Supreme Court, which on November 17 gave the residents three days to decide whether they are willing to re-negotiate with the Treasury for a period of two weeks. The residents agreed, paving the way for the negotiations with the assistance of the two mediators.