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Over 200 healthcare trade unionists protest in Bucharest over pay inequality

Over 200 Sanitas healthcare trade unionists have picketed on Tuesday the Labour Ministry in Bucharest, their first action in a series of protests called “Tuesday at Sanitas”.

“This is the first picketing in a series of Sanitas actions. Attending are colleagues from Bucharest City and Arges County. You know very well that we are dissatisfied with the two pay ordinances, which, instead of striking a balance and ironing out inequalities, have totally disrupted the pay system,” Sanitas First Deputy Chairman Marius Sepi told Agerpres.

He added that the leaders of the protesting unionists are waiting for an invitation to talks from the Labour Ministry.

“We are waiting for an invitation. No problem if it does not come! Next week we will be picketing the Finance Ministry and then Parliament. We are now open to any talks that could settle the problems of our Sanitas colleagues,” said Sepi.

 

Protest ends after two hours

 

Protesting Sanitas healthcare trade unionists have ended after two hours their picketing of the Labour Ministry  after  talks with State Secretary with the Labour Ministry Iolanda Staniloiu.

“Things are quite complicated. We have got no sure promises, but we hope they will treat all our grievances expediently; today, these grievances will be mentioned in the Senate’s Labour Committee to be settled together with them. In the absence of the minister, the ministry has not said anything today to the effect that we will settle that in x period. We are talking about a new pay law, some moments that we will live through by the end of October when some problems of interest to us should be solved,” Sanitas Chairman Leonard Barascu said Tuesday upon finishing talks with State Secretary with the Labour Ministry Iolanda Staniloiu.

He added that the government’s pay ordinances in question will have to pass through Parliament, and only then could they be amended to settle the issue of pay to administrative and ancillary healthcare staff, social assistance healthcare staff and similar staff working at creches.

Barascu added that there is no set schedule for the amendment or approval of the ordinances, but that might nonetheless happen toward the end of October.

Last week, Sanitas Chairman Leonard Barascu said 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.

He added that SANITAS has worked out a calendar of measures and protests ahead of the October 31 strike. Under their schedule, each Tuesday a protest generically called “Tuesday at SANITAS” will be staged.

“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 Labour 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.

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