(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) The nurses and maintenance workers’ strike that has crippled the Hadassah Medical Organization in Jerusalem ended Wednesday, after Histadrut Trade Union Department head Avi Nissenkorn and Hadassah Director-General Avigdor Kaplan reached an agreement that ensured the staff’s wages will be paid while the struggling medical center continues its attempts to secure a financial lifeline.
Hadassah is currently 1.3 billion shekels ($370 million) in debt and has been struggling to meet payments to both creditors and staff.
The six-hour meeting, which began Tuesday night and ended at 4 a.m. Wednesday, yielded an agreement by which the nurses and maintenance staff on Hadassah’s Mount Scopus and Ein Kerem campuses will return to work as part of the debt restructuring plans afforded to the medical center. Negotiations with the Israeli Medical Association, which represents Hadassah’s doctors, are ongoing.
The deal signed Wednesday will serve as an interim agreement, and the parties have agreed to enter intense negotiations with the aim of formulating a permanent recovery and wage plan by April 13.
“I’m happy to say that Hadassah will resume its operations in full throughout the day,” Nissenkorn said after the meeting. “The interim agreement stipulates that the 120 dismissal proceedings scheduled prior to the strike will be suspended and all employees making up to NIS 15,000 ($4,300) will be paid in full during the freeze,” he said, referring to the court-ordered suspension of the receivership proceedings Hadassah is facing.