Transportation ministry: willing to increase pay of bus drivers from 43 to 47 shekels per hour


by Ifi Reporter Category:Government Jun 26, 2022

After the budget discussions with the Ministry of Finance for next year were stopped due to the fall of the government, the Ministry of Transportation announced that it was willing to transfer a one-time budget to increase the initial salary of bus drivers on public transportation, from 43 to 47 shekels per hour.
In exchange for transferring the money to the bus service operators, the Ministry of Transportation demands that the workers' organizations that are taking sanctions - power for workers and the Histadrut - undertake not to strike until March 2023.
The Minister of Transportation, Merav Michaeli, attacked the Ministry of Finance for not being as willing as it is to mobilize to finance the increase in drivers' wages. "You all saw the drivers' strikes on public transport this morning," she said. "I want to say that I am with them one hundred percent. The drivers are absolutely right. They deserve good conditions and a much higher salary. I have been fighting for it since my first day in office. I am sorry the Treasury does not understand it yet. I have no doubt he will understand. From the budget of the Ministry of Transportation to pay the drivers everything possible. "
Power for Workers, which represents the bus drivers at Superbus, Egged Transport, Electra-Afikim and Dan in the South, did not outright reject the Ministry of Transportation's proposal. For now, the organization is freezing the strikes it planned this week. However, Power for Workers submitted a counter-proposal to the operators in exchange for avoiding strikes until March 2023 - now raising the starting salary to NIS 49 per hour, and in January to NIS 50 per hour.
During a hearing in the Labor Court today regarding the demand for the issuance of restraining orders against workers' power, Electra-Afikim CEO Oded Cohen rejected the workers' counter-proposal, claiming that he could not add money to drivers' wages. , Lines and metropolis; A.K.) did it because they lost drivers and were afraid, "Cohen said. He said," I do not commit suicide financially. Companies today are losing money. We are in a year of total chaos. "The number of passengers has dropped by 25% since the Corona broke out, and huge traffic jams have stopped our buses."
"We are encouraged by the new proposals we have heard," he said. We act out of public responsibility. The strike is only a means - and certainly not a tool for a political blow. That is why we postponed the strikes in order to exhaust the negotiations. But the option to go back and strike - even at an increased rate of two strikes a week - still exists. "
The Histadrut, which represents the drivers at Kavim, Dan Beer Sheva, Tnufa, Beit Shemesh Express and Extra, has so far not responded to the Ministry of Transportation's proposal. This morning, the Histadrut went on strike, some of the companies whose employees are represented in its ranks.
In Israel, about 16,000 bus drivers are employed on the various service lines. Although there is a need for 5,000 more drivers, the line operators are unable to fill the shortage, as many drivers prefer to work in private transport companies or as truck drivers - where wages are higher.
The tender method, through which the Ministry of Transportation selects the bus company that will operate service lines in a particular area, encourages participants to submit a low-cost bid. For this reason, the drivers' demand for an increase in their wages is directed mainly towards the state, and not towards the direct employer - from the operation of the service lines.
The two old bus companies, Egged and Dan, whose employees are unionized in the Histadrut, can offer drivers better pay conditions, because they are not yet subject to the new tenders - and enjoy a higher subsidy.



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