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Chief of Staff's Pay Hiked, but Common Soldiers' Not?

Soldiers in High Court petition demand that soldiers' pay be updated to reflect rise in prices.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 7/30/2012, 12:02 PM

Benny Gantz Briefs Commanders
Benny Gantz Briefs Commanders
IDF Spokesman's Unit

Ariel and Shani Lorch, who completed a full military service, and their brother Amir, who is currently serving as a combat soldier, have presented a motion to the High Court demanding that soldiers' pay be updated to reflect the rise in the cost of living.

The motion – presented though their father, Adv. Amnon Lorch – attacks the state authorities in the matter of the basic pay given to soldiers during their mandatory service.

The lawyers accuse the IDF of avoiding its legal obligation to raise soldiers' salaries in accordance with the rise in the consumer price index. The price index has risen by 20% in the last decade, they note, yet the basic pay of the ordinary grunt remains unchanged.

During the same period, the Chief of Staff's pay rose by 40%, and that of members of the IDF's permanent professional corps rose by 23%.

The IDF insists on a narrow interpretation of the military law regarding the conditions that need to be met for the soldiers' pay to be updated. Supposedly, this is to happen only when the entire Israeli workforce receives a global hike in wages – yet the government has ceased giving such global wage hikes. This means that the IDF can in essence avoid updating soldiers' pay forever.

The basic pay – not including supplementary pay for rank and combat status – remains unchanged at NIS 352.20 for the past decade, the plaintiffs charge.