Around 80,000 health professionals, as well as the technical staff (TESA), members of the Sanitas Union have started the general strike. The health care trade unions are dissatisfied with the healthcare administrative staff, public servants, school physicians and social workers having been left out of the government ordinances that have increased public pay in 2016.
“The strike is not limited in time. I make a call to the parliamentarians to mobilize themselves, so that the quorum will be ensured; tomorrow the plenum that should vote all the amendments submitted by Sanitas should be formed. More than 82,000 signatures have been gathered. TESA employees in the hospitals continue to have the lower salary in the budgetary system. These two GEOs , instead of solving inequities, have deepened them more. TESA employees and nurses are currently providing on third of the necessary services and only emergencies are treated. We asked the patients associations in the country to disseminate the information in the territory and cases that are not emergencies should stay home. If we’ll be successful and parliamentarians will vote the amendments, we will have to end this form of protest”, stated Marius Sepi, the leader of the Sanitas Federation for MEDIAFAX.
A delegation of unionists discussed with the Health Minister.
The unionists are asking for a number of 23,000 employees to be included in the text of the Government Ordinance no.20, on the salaries. They are also asking the same ordinance to take into account a number of 1,500 employees in nurseries and kindergartens. They are also asking for payment of the increases to be performed at the level of the year of 2016, and doctors and social care nurses to be paid on the non-clinical hospitals’ grid.
“I am a nurse since 40 years in the Floreasca Emergency Hospital, and my salary is of RON 1,200. I want my seniority increases to be paid, my overtime to be paid, and our work to be respected. We have good doctors, let them be honored, but who is in the shadow of the doctor? Nurses, stretchers, locksmiths, scavenger, laundry, kitchen, unskilled worker – they have never received anything in addition”, stated Violeta Ghita, a nurse at the Floreasca Hospital .
“After cutting wages by the Boc Government, our wages have reached RON 800 to 1,000. I’m working in Floreasca Hospital since 16 years, I am a locksmith and my salary, including all the increases, is RON 1,500. We also want parliamentarians to consider that there are not enough working places, we cannot have holidays because there’s no one to replace us”, claimed another protester.
The Coalition of the Organizations of the patients with Chronic Diseases in Romania (COPAC) announced that it supports the cause and the general strike started by the medical staff in Romania.
“We support all the health professionals who are in general strike. As patients, we ae aware about the lack of personnel and the problems that the whole sanitary system is facing, which also affect us. Although we need medical services, we understand that the current situation made the employees in this system to start the general strike, but we do not understand the authorities’ reaction, or better to say, their lack of reaction. I hope that in these extremely difficult moments authorities will prove responsibility towards the people of this country and find reliable solutions to support patients”, stated Radu Ganescu, the COPAC President.
Dragnea: The claims are legitimate, PSD will support them in Parliament
In the hospitals from all over the country, health professionals have started the strike on Monday morning. In these circumstances, the PSD leader Liviu Dragnea announced, on his personal Facebook page, that the claims of the employees in the health system are legitimate, therefore they will be supported by PSD in Parliament.
“The ZERO Government caused the strike of 80,000 health professionals and of the technical staff. In this moment, the health system is blocked. Salary claims are legitimate, and PSD will urgently support them in Parliament to solve the problem and to make the strike end. We will come with solutions in order for those who take care of our health to be respected. Doctors must feel in their pockets that they are part of the middle class”, Liviu Dragnea wrote on the social network.
Romanian Post employees are demanding leadership’s resignation and threaten with general strike
Romanian Post employees also continued their protest started last week. More than 15,000 people are protesting all over the country, threatening with general strike.
More than one hundred of Post employees in Cluj have gathered on Monday at the entrance of the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine (USAMV), where PM Dacian Ciolos attended to the inauguration of the Transylvania’s Advanced Horticultural Research Institute, waiting there for three hours.
When exiting, PM stopped to discuss with protesters and they demanded him to dismiss the leadership of the state company Romanian Post.
He unionist leader from Cluj, Carol Sinka, stated that since three days, namely since the postmen have interrupted their activity, no authority has met the protesters.
“The activity in the Post cannot continue in the current circumstances. I ask you to dismiss the leadership of the Romanian Post company in order to defuse the situation”, told the union leader to the PM.
In reply, he said that he discussed with the Communications Minister few days ago, and that negotiations are underway with the unions. PM stated that he is waiting for the result of these discussions, and if needed, the Government will involve.
“There is a Board of Directors that has a contract, and they have to assume certain obligations. I cannot offer you an answer today”, Ciolos said.
After his leaving, the unionists declared themselves unsatisfied with the discussion, since they haven’t receive a concrete message related to the problems they face.
On Friday, postmen have fired, during a protest in Cluj-Napoca, the salary offer of the leadership of the Romanian Post, demanding its resignation and threatening with general strike.