A human’s worth

I don’t get paid enough for what I do!

I hear this all day long. I think I heard it all day long when I worked in London, but here in Israel it is a very real issue. How is it that a country (yes I am referring to Tel Aviv as the epitome of the entire country) can pay so little and yet rent prices continue to rise (Tel Aviv is now counted as one of the 19 most expensive cities in the world), drink prices continue to rise, food prices and travel expenses… In truth everything is going up while I see salaries either staying the same or going down! How can that be?

My father, one of the lucky few to be able to retire in this country (yes Dad I know this comes with its own financial strain!), came to me the other day and asked me what the average salary was and I said somewhere around 6-8000 NIS (yes I am sure I am aiming high) and he looked at me shock faced and blurted out, “Bruto or Neto??? How do people live on that?” The sad truth is most of them don’t. Most Israeli’s begin their month with a hefty minus in the bank and pay their bills in payments. I still cannot get my head around how those same people have families and pay for their children’s education… I mean where are the savings?

Some companies will offer a company saving scheme. It all sounds great! You put in a share of your salary, they put in double and in 6 years you get your hands on a nice wad of cash! The issue is that once you sign up you suddenly notice next months paycheck is considerably lighter and as comforting as it is to know you have savings, it is somewhat worrying when you consider how you are going to pay rent and pay for your annual service on your car which must be done this month, and still be able to buy food!

How do people with families to support do it? How can a single person like me, whose Grandparents weren’t just given land or property in Israel in 1948, ever hope to get on the property ladder!

Where is the support of the workers of Israel? Where does the average office worker see their rights being defended when sick days come out of your paycheck or your holidays. Sick days!! That really knocked me for a loop! We don’t get sick days??? Seriously! “You do get sick days, only you don’t get paid for the first sick day you take, sick days 2-3 you get like 33% of your salary and days 4 and onwards you get 75%” Are you fucking shitting me! So the answer is we all get sick, we all come into the office sick, because at least we are getting paid to be there, we all make each other sick and then what happens to productivity? Yup… Well actually in fairness it probably amounts to the worth of the salary we are given.

But what are we worth? In a country that often spits you out while sucking you back in at the same time, it is difficult to see your value. Bigger picture is it cannot stay this way, I mean at some stage the country will not be able to sustain the kind of debt that is amounting… I am clearly no economist, but logically it makes no sense to me. At some stage the government will have to step in and set a minimum wage. At some stage they will have to implement a rule for workers that if you have to swipe in then you should get overtime. The should give fully paid sick days. They should impose a set rise in salaries per year dependant on the rise in the interest rate which has nothing to do with any further raise you may deserve from your company due to promotion or simply because (dare I say it) you deserve to be above minimum wage!

I am sure all this falls on deaf ears and is just another rant with a futile end, but it would be nice if we in Israel realised our own worth and demanded from our State and from our employers to be valued!

Rant over!


About channahboo

I was once a Yorkshire lass, I guess I still am, but after moving to London and then on to Tel Aviv, New York and then back to Tel Aviv again, I wonder how much of the Yorkshire lass is left. The adventure continues and although many see my life as an extended episode of Seinfeld (you are free to laugh), I can also empathise with the Buddhist thought of life as our punishment. I guess the important part is the love that you carry with you through life’s journey and my back often feels the joyous strain of the weight of the love I carry.
This entry was posted in Tel Aviv. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A human’s worth

  1. Liz says:

    Hi Channah,

    Clearly you’ve touched on a lot of major issues, and you’re not the first one to notice this. Given the current housing/salary ratio, people are getting fed up.

    You’re right, the average wage is indeed NIS 8000 a month, bruto. The catch is that the median wage is significantly lower. And all the things you mentioned — the sick-day policy is shit, but it’s on the agenda for being changed. There is indeed a minimum wage (about NIS 20 an hour right now, or NIS 3,800 a month for full-time work, if I remember correctly). Companies are required to pay overtime. They’re also required to pay extra for work on Shabbat/holidays. The problem is in enforcement of labor laws.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s