Daily Israel Report

Foreign Ministry Strike Ends

Dramatic 10-day strike ends with agreement between Foreign Ministry employees, Finance Ministry.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 4/2/2014, 9:16 PM

Foreign Ministry employees strike in Jerusalem
Foreign Ministry employees strike in Jerusalem
Flash90

The Foreign Ministry strike ended on Wednesday night, as the Employees' Union signed an agreement with the Finance Ministry after intense negotiations. 

The agreement reportedly includes new procedures and business agreements for sending Foreign Ministry employees abroad, and includes improvements to human resources, customized pension plans, and monetary incentives to work abroad - especially in developing or politically difficult countries. 

The Director of Wages at the Ministry of Finance, Kobi Amsalem, welcomed the agreement.

"After long negotiations we reached an agreement that will strengthen the Foreign Ministry and will assist Israeli delegates for a long time," Amsalem stated. 

The strike, which lasted for ten days, saw 103 branches of Israel's Foreign Ministry across the globe shutter as employees protested what they claimed were low salaries and a lack of benefits.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) has said multiple times that he does not support the strike in his office, and has deemed the fully-fledged protest "irresponsible." He also claimed that tension over the issue had turned into violence.

The strike itself has also been the source of some controversy, after the Finance Ministry claimed that the Foreign Ministry workers actually make very high salaries for Israeli employees. The Foreign Minister's union has fired back, calling the data "illusory." 

Concerns were raised over the effects a prolonged strike could have on Israeli diplomacy, as several important diplomatic visits had already been cancelled or postponed. 

Three days of negotiations prevented the strike from snowballing, however, after intense meetings between both sides slowly brought them to a consensus.