Israeli diplomats end strike

Employees of Israel’s Foreign Ministry ended their two-week strike with an agreement to increase pay for Israeli diplomats.

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry Workers Union called the deal signed Wednesday with the Finance Ministry an “outline” of a collective agreement that will be signed within a month, according to Israeli news reports.

All activities, including providing consular services to the community, resumed Wednesday at the Los Angeles consulate.

Everything is back to normal,” said Dana Erlich, consul for public diplomacy at the L.A. consulate, said in a phone interview.

Under the collective agreement, diplomat’s salaries will be adjusted according to the cost of living in the country in which they are working. Also, there will be compensation for spouses of diplomats for loss of work in their field and the Foreign Ministry will help pay for the education of foreign diplomats’ children.

“We are glad that the State of Israel understands the difficulties that the fighters of the Foreign Ministry must deal with and are sorry for the unnecessary damage that was caused,” according to a statement released Wednesday by the Foreign Ministry Workers Union. “Tomorrow the foreign fighters of Israel will return to the global front line.”

The open-ended strike shut down Israel’s 103 embassies, consulates and diplomatic missions around the world, and caused the postponement or cancellation of visits by several world leaders and trips by Israeli officials.

Erlich declined to comment about her feelings about the agreement reached between the Foreign Ministry and Finance Ministry. She said that the time difference between Los Angeles and Jerusalem has prevented officials in the Los Angeles office from learning precise details of the agreement. 

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