SANITAS trade unionists from all of Romania’s hospitals will go on an all-out strike on October 31, unless a solution is found with the Government for the uniform public pay, SANITAS Chairman Leonard Barascu said Thursday.
He added that SANITAS has worked out a calendar of measures and protests ahead of the October 31 strike.
Under their scheduled, each Tuesday a protest generically called “Tuesday at SANITAS” will be staged each Tuesday.
“Starting today, under a decision of the National Council, we will be collecting signatures from around the country to start our industrial action. On September 20, we will be picketing the Finance Ministry together with 200 people, while on October 4 we will be doing the same to the Health Ministry, with more than 200 people,”said Barascu.
On October 11, the SANITAS protesters should be picketing the Romanian Parliament in hopes of finding solutions there to the problems that the Government – more precisely the Labour Ministry, the Health Ministry and the Finance Ministry – could not solve.
“On October 12, we will be displaying our protest by wearing armbands, while on October 19 we will go on a two-hour warning strike, in the morning, between 08:00hrs and 10:00hrs,” Barascu added.
He said patients should not worry about the warning strike, because they might be treated even better then than on other days.
“Very important to the state of play in Romania’s healthcare system, we will go on an all-out strike on October 31, but, hopefully we will not have to get that far,” said Barascu.
SANITAS First Deputy Chairman Marius Sepi said the healthcare trade unions could drop their protest schedule if all the grievances of their members from all around the country are settled.
“We want all the administrative staff to ne included under Ordinance 20; the pay issues of the 1,800 public employees with the healthcare directorate excluded from the ordinance to be settled and the same to be done for our colleagues working at creches and kindergartens. We also want the differences in the pay to clinical and nonclinical hospital staff to be settled as well as the pay differences between nurses according to educational attainment,” said Sepi.
The SANITAS is estimating it takes a budget effort of 6 million lei to secure the uniform pay for the administrative staff, the healthcare public employees and creche staff.
The SANITAS National Council on Thursday discussed uniform pay with Labor Minister Dragos Pisalaru and Health Minister Vlad Voiculescu, but after the meeting it said no actual solutions had been worked out.
HealthMin Voiculescu: Priority to be given to staff not included in pay ordinance
Health Minister Vlad Voiculescu said Thursday, after a meeting with officials of the Sanitas healthcare trade unions, that healthcare staff wages not included in two recent ordinances regulating public pay raises will be considered in the period immediately ahead.
He mentioned the administrative staff, social workers, nurses in schools and employees of the healthcare public directorates.
“Priority will be given to those staff categories not included in Ordinance 20 and Ordinance 43,” Voiculescu told a meeting of the Sanitas National Council.
Asked for a deadline, the minister said no agreement was reached over a schedule for the days ahead. But talks will surely ensue.
After another meeting with Sanitas officials on September 5, Voiculescu said a national budget revision is expected in October, when the pay to the nurses, administrative healthcare staff and employees of public healthcare directorates could be considered for a raise.
LabMin Pislaru: Pay should be equal; strong healthcare system is needed
Emergency ordinances cannot solve pay issues, unless pay is conceived in an equal manner, Labour Minister Dragos Pislaru said Thursday after talks with officials of the Sanitas healthcare trade unions.
“As far as pay is concerned, there will always be imperfections, no matter how many ordinances we issue, unless pay is conceived in an equal manner. That is why it is important that we invite trade unions to discuss the matter next week. This will be a first consultation on principles already okayed by the Government. We do want to get results in terms of equal pay,” said Pisalru.
The labour minister and the health minister on Thursday met Sanitas officials to discuss healthcare staff wages not included in two official pay raise ordinances.
“I believe that above all differences, what unites us is the belief that we need a strong healthcare system to lift Romania up to the place it deserves as an EU member state. We surely take into account any differences, any unsettled matter as mush as our available resources allow us,” said Pislaru.
Sanitas claims there are major wage inequalities in the healthcare system as well as between the clinical and nonclinical hospital doctors’ wages that can earn as high as 1,200 lei. Some administrative healthcare staff was excluded from a recent wage raise ordinance, along with nurses working in nurseries and kindergartens. It also claims the wage inequalities between university and high school graduate nurses are much too high, of up to 800 lei.