By Michal Klein, “Standing at the Gate” Project Volunteer

On November 1, 2013 the new law “Public Service Contract Regulations for Security and Maintenance Workers” went into effect. The law provides benefits for security and maintenance (cleaning) workers, including an increase to the minimum wage and payments into pension, severance, and educational funds, improved vacation pay, holiday gifts, bonuses, and more.

Standing at the Gate,” a volunteer program based out of Kav LaOved, aims to protect the rights of security workers at Israeli educational institutions. Kav LaOved tracks the implementation of labor law regulations due to continued challenges to enforcement. This law has very recently come into effect so volunteers have collected only a few random samples tracking employers’ implementation of the law. They show extreme violations of the new regulations costing workers hundreds of shekels.

In one example, security guard worker “E”’s salary slip shows that only part of the salary was calculated according to the new minimum wage and that the payment made into the educational fund was calculated based on only part of the salary. These violations cost security guard “E” a total of 402 ILS.

In another example the salary of security guard “S” was calculated incorrectly. The pension fund payment was based on the old minimum wage and calculated at the previous 13.5% instead of 15.3%. This is a double violation. In addition, payment for transportation was not included in the calculation of the pension fund according to the requirements of the new law. This reduced the employer’s participation by 7.5 ILS. In addition to these violations the sum calculated for the educational fund was not based on his whole salary, rather on only two of the institutions at which he worked. As a result, these violations cost “S” 235 ILS.

Similar violations were found on security guard “M”’s pay slip. To his employer’s advantage, “M”’s salary was calculated at the old minimum wage of 23.7 ILS an hour. He was also shocked to find that no payments were made into the education fund as required by law, the payments into pension and severance funds were calculated based on a partial monthly salary, and the calculation did not include a percentage of overtime or of transportation payments. All these violations cost “M” 913.21 ILS.

Inspecting one payment slip cannot point to all violations because holiday gifts and improved paid vacation appear only on pay slips of relevant months. It is very important to continue following up to identify violations year round.

In addition, Kav LaOved is aware of additional violations that are on the salary slip which are not related to the new law. These violations are not discussed here.

In conclusion, the initial data collected by Kav LaOved point to partial implementation and outright violations of the new regulations regarding public service contract for security and maintenance workers who continue to suffer from the lack of enforcement of existing labor laws.

In response to this situation, Kav LaOved will continue collecting and analyzing data regarding implementation regulations, will inform the workers about violations of their rights, and will alert authorities about violations of the law.

This article was prepared with the assistance of Kav LaOved volunteers Amos Leor and Reut Peretz.

Translation: Sharon Kerpel