Despite the difficult financial crisis at the universities,
the majority of employees and administrators still receive
enormous salaries according to recent reports in the
mainstream press. MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni told a Yated
Ne'eman reporter early this week that he intends to table
a motion in the Knesset to place the issue on the agenda.
Two weeks ago the universities reported their respective
income from tuition as well as government and private grants,
but did not publish their total expenses. Economists
expressed surprise over the omission, wondering whether the
universities are trying to conceal figures related to
Against a backdrop of student demonstrations against the
government for allegedly not supporting the universities
sufficiently, the salary figures are of particular interest.
They help explain the large deficits and financial crisis at
the universities despite the massive inflow of government
funds and hefty contributions from abroad.
According to press reports ranking university administrators
earn NIS 40,000-60,000 ($9,000-$14,000) per month and average
university salaries are double the national average. The
Salary Report for Public Bodies for the 2003 fiscal year
shows that many ranking university officials earn over NIS
65,000 ($15,000) per month. Hundreds of employees earn NIS
35,000-40,000 per month and even rank-and-file employees
receive extremely high salaries. (For the sake of comparison
the salary for directors of government ministries is
currently NIS 28,000 per month and the salary for ministers
is NIS 33,000 per month.) Furthermore university salaries
rose by NIS 700 per month at a time when salaries in the
public sector decreased drastically and Bituach Leumi slashed
allowances for large families and the handicapped.
The following is a list of examples: One Hebrew University
administrator receives over NIS 68,000 per month. The vice
president of Haifa University receives over NIS 67,000 per
month. The president of the Technion in Haifa receives over
NIS 52,000 per month. The rector of Hebrew University
receives over NIS 50,000 per month. The president of the
Weizman Institute receives over NIS 48,000 per month. The
president of Haifa University receives over NIS 48,0000 per
month. The vice president of Ben Gurion University receives
over NIS 46,000 per month. The vice president of Bar Ilan
University receives over NIS 45,000 per month. At Hebrew
University 168 employees are paid approximately NIS 36,000
per month. At the Technion 56 employees earn over NIS 34,000.
At the Weizman Institute 88 employees receive over NIS 33,000
Other examples: The director of the Ben Gurion University
Library gets paid over NIS 27,000 per month. The spokeswoman
for Tel Aviv University receives over NIS 34,000 per month.
Technicians at the Weizman Institute earn over NIS 36,000 per
Thus it comes as little surprise the 5764 figures showed a
deficit of NIS 120 million at the Technion, NIS 75 million at
Tel Aviv University, NIS 15 million at the Weizman Institute
and NIS 10 million at Haifa University.
Millions also go to pay for sabbatical year leaves abroad,
when in many cases the same studies could have been written
in Israel. Many employees also receive additional extensive
benefits not listed as part of their salaries, such as
vehicle expenses, pension plans and generous expense
The full report was released Monday by Finance Ministry
Salary Commissioner Yuval Rachlevsky and it contains 2003's
salary figures for 56,970 workers at government offices and
state-run hospitals as well as 84,871 instructors. The
information leaked to the press earlier has proved accurate.
Irregularities were found at 93 of the 663 organizations that
submitted reports in 2002-03. The average gross salary came
to NIS 21,886 and salaries among full-time, tenured employees
averaged NIS 10,261. There are a total of 430,000 state
The report also revealed enormous salaries in the public
sector in the health insurance funds, Hebrew University and
Haifa University—salaries ranging from NIS 65,000-90,000 per
month. Other exorbitant salaries were doled out Bezeq, the
Oil Refineries, the Electric Company, the Ports Authority,
General Health Services, the Bank of Israel, the Broadcasting
Authority, government ministries, hospitals and the Defense
Ministry. Many of these salaries were not irregular according
to regulations, but were nonetheless high. Teachers' salaries
ranged from NIS 3,930 to NIS 9,106 per month.
According to the Forum for the Enforcement of Workers'
Rights, Rachlevsky is long overdue in releasing a report on
low-end wages in the public sector. "It seems that the
Finance Ministry is trying to avoid publishing other figures
according to which one in every five government workers earns
less than minimum wage and is in need of income supplements,"
said a Forum spokesman. "In the name of growth Netanyahu's
economic policy is transforming work into a cheap commodity
and creating tens of thousands of poor workers who work under
disgraceful conditions, and a large portion of them work in
the public sector. The Forum calls for the publication of the
low wages report in the public sector in order to provide the
public a picture of the true situation in the economy."
Rachlevsky is calling on the Knesset to pass a law that would
set a maximum wage level in the public sector. Rachlevsky
said the salary of an employee in a public organization
should not exceed the salary of the director or chairman of
that organization. He says the maximal gross salary level
should be set at NIS 30,000 ($7,000) per month, the salary
earned by the directors-general of government ministries. He
also recommended capping salaries at government companies and
statutory corporations at NIS 41,000 ($9,500) per month and
salaries of judges, university presidents and hospital
directors at NIS 55,000 ($12,800) per month.
Over six years, over 2,000 decisions have been issued leading
to reductions in salaries and compensation for workers and
pensioners at government-supported organizations, saving the
public a total of NIS 500 million.
Adi Eldar, chairman of the Center for Local Government, said
in response to the report he welcomes the ongoing trend of
reducing the number of salary irregularities at local
authorities, which would help them escape the crisis they