Nurses in Israel stage 4-hour strike

Dec. 11, 2012 at 2:38 PM

JERUSALEM, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- Nurses in Israel staged a 4-hour work stoppage Tuesday morning as their union accused the Finance Ministry of failing to negotiate in good faith.

While nurses continued to staff emergency rooms and intensive care units, they walked out of hospital wards at 9 a.m., the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported. They did not open operating rooms and only emergency surgeries were performed.

Ilana Cohen, head of the National Association of Nurses, said department heads such as the budget director should have participated in negotiations Monday. She accused them of "insufferable irresponsibility."

"At a time when the nurses are collapsing under the workload and patients' lives are in danger because of the shortage of nurses, the treasury has decided to play for time and not conduct continuous and intensive negotiations as dictated by the national emergency," she said. "There's a limit to the exploitation of nurses and their work conditions, which harm their ability to offer medical treatment to patients."

Officials said they would ask the Tel Aviv Regional Labor Court to order the nurses to end nine days of job actions, The Jerusalem Post reported. They accused the nurses of failing to negotiate and said they must remain on the job until their contract expires at the end of the month.

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