On election eve, Israel made the first payment to tens of thousands of members of Israel Police and the Israel Prison Service and their pensioners. The agreement provides for an average pay rise of 7.5% for the 60,000 people serving in the security forces who do not serve in the permanent army and are not permanent army pensioners.
Sources inform "Globes" that early this month, the Ministry of Finance paid an advance to eligible parties for January and February. The pay rise will appear in the pay slips of active members of the police and prison service starting next month, when advances for March and April will also be paid.
Ministry of Finance officials were not informed that the payments were beginning, but sources in the ministry told "Globes" that there was no regular procedure for informing them, because it constituted execution of a payment order from the Ministry of Justice, not a decision of the Ministry of Finance. The order was given to the Ministry of Finance by the Ministry of Justice in late March, after the National Labor Court gave the force of a court ruling to a compromise reached by the state with the organizations of wives of policemen, prison guards, and pensioners from the Israel Security Agency (ISA) and Mossad, who petitioned the court for a pay rise for their husbands.
The cost of pay rise to the state budget is estimated at NIS 22 billion spread over 16 years. The state agreed to pay the increase, which it has been paying to members of the permanent army since 2006, not only in the future, but also retroactively from 2006.
The National Labor Court ruled in favor of the petitioners on behalf of the police and prison guards. The petitioners agreed to forego interest and linkage on the amounts paid retroactively. Ministry of Finance professional staff made great efforts to stop the payment, and persuaded Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to convene the cabinet in order to allow the state to appeal the Labor Court ruling to the High Court of Justice. After Netanyahu reversed himself under pressure from the police and prison guards, however, Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon signed the agreement, despite the opinion of the professional staff, which preferred to conduct regular negotiations.
Implementation of the agreement was delayed up until now because the ISA had difficulty meeting the preliminary condition of obtaining signatures of 95% of its pensioners on a waiver for additional claims against the state.
The Ministry of Justice said in response, "On March 27, 2019, with the rendering of court rulings approving the compromise agreements, the State Attorney's Office gave the Ministry of Finance order to make the payments required under the rulings approving the compromise agreements under the regulations for carrying out the rulings against the state. The implementation instruction is issued by the State Attorney's Office in every case that ends with a monetary obligation of the state."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on April 14, 2019
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