(Illustration)Nati Shohat/Flash 90

Israel's minimum wage will be raised to 5,300 shekels ($1,338) per month, Histadrut chairman Avi Nissenkorn and Manufacturers Association president Shraga Brosh announced Monday. 

The announcement surfaces just before the deadline for the first stage of a gradual raising of Israel's minimum wage, which until recently was 4,300 shekel ($1,085) per month. 

On April 1, the minimum wage will raise to 4,650 shekel ($1173); it will then be raised to 4,825 shekel ($1,218) in August 2016 and to 5,000 shekel ($1,261) on January 1, 2017. The final wage raise will take effect on December 1, 2017.

At the same time, the parties agreed to the formulation of a joint program designed to increase productivity in Israel, which is considered low compared to other OECD countries. The program will include employee reward incentives to boost wages for good performance. 

"Five months ago, when I announced the Histadrut's demand to raise the minimum wage by 1,000 shekels, there were many who lifted their eyebrows and said that it could never happen," Nissenkorn stated Monday night. "Today we are here to show that it is possible and that no man is condemned to work and be poor." 

The recent elections have focused extensively on the Israeli economy, particularly the cost-of-living crisis. 

Channel 10 revealed last year that 63.5% of Israelis are frequently in "overdraft" on their bank accounts.

In November, a report by Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) revealed that in the past four years, Israel's cost-of-living increase was less than that of other OECD countries: 7.6%, compared to 9.1%.