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Sun Dec 21, 2014, 10:19 AM

There goes Netanyahu again:

Netanyahu to expand minimum wage hike to civil servants

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed on Sunday to increase the minimum wage for civil servants, mirroring an agreement reached earlier in the month between the Histadrut Labor Federation and industry leaders.

"I have instructed the Finance Ministry to allow a government-wide expansion of the minimum wage to NIS 5,000" a month, Netanyahu said following a meeting with the Histadrut.

The Histadrut had threatened a general strike the first week of September that would have shut down ports, schools, transportation and government services, but called off the strike threat as the government coalition collapsed. Instead of the NIS 5,300 minimum wage it was seeking in both the private and public sector, the Histadrut announced an agreement with the Presidency of Business Organizations, an umbrella industry group, to raise the wage to NIS 5,000 over two years.

Talks with then-Finance Minister Yair Lapid over including the public sector in the minimum wage rise were abandoned, however, when Netanyahu fired Lapid from the position. Lapid went on to accuse Netanyahu of scuttling a deal, which he said was close.

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