Health Sector Unions Preparing for Strike

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, August 20, 2019 – Health sector union representatives were disappointed with the outcome of a meeting with the ministers of finance, labour and health in the Health Ministry regarding a planned wage increase and despite an announcement of the start of a new round of negotiations, the unionists seem ready for a strike action.

The union representatives reiterate that they will not back down from their demands that were initialled in a collective agreement with Health Minister Milan Kujundžić and that is, a wage increase of three percent for working conditions and four percent for life and health responsibility for all workers in the healthcare sector working in diagnostics and treatment.

The leader of the nurses’ union, Anica Prašnjak stated that union committees would decide on the date of the strike and in the meantime, they will see what the government will put to the union at a meeting scheduled for Friday.

“The unions are planning a strike, protest action and an awkward situation in the health system because they consider that this delaying isn’t leading anywhere. People no longer have any hope and we have to organise ourselves,” she said.

The physicians’ union will join the strike in support of nurses and other workers in health, said Igor Tripalo, the leader of the third largest health sector union.

Tripalo is disappointed with the outcome of today’s talks and underscored that in addition to striking, physicians have the possibility of rescinding their agreement to work more than 48 hours a week as a sign of protest.

Health Minister Milan Kujundžić said that negotiations have formally been returned to the start but that he expects healthcare workers to eventually be given a wage increase. He said that a proposed negotiation team would be proposed to the government today so that negotiations can continue on Friday and hopes that everything will be resolved by October 31.

“I think that in the end, Croatian physicians, nurses and all workers need to receive a higher wage if we want to keep them in Croatia,”, he said.

Kujundžić thanked the unions for their understanding, modesty and fairness.

Disappointed with the outcome of today’s meeting union leader Stjepan Topolnjak said that the unions had expected to launch the negotiations today and that the unions will remain steadfast in that the initialled collective agreement remains to be the starting position for negotiations.

More health sector news can be found in the Lifestyle section.


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