Hospitals are blocked again, after more than 50,000 employees in the health system went on a warning strike for two hours and announce general strike on May 11.
“Our salaries in your hands! Our salaries in your hands!” yelled on Monday, among others, the employees on warning strike.
Unionists in the health system are asking for the amendment of the regulation on the increases and of the Pay Law. Sanitas representatives went to negotiations with the Health Ministry in order to talk to the official representatives of the institution led by Sorina Pintea on diminishing the increases in this field. On Tuesday, they will also talk with the Prime Minister and the Labour Minister, as announced since the last week.
Unionist claim that the negotiation procedure of the collective bargaining agreement was started in last April, it was an intense negotiation for three months, and then, since August 2017 until today, nothing happened.
“One of the claims of the Sanitas Federation related to this warning strike and the future general strike is the renegotiation of the collective bargaining agreement, its conclusion and registration so that it will be applicable in the health system. Similarly, we have the same claim at the Labour Ministry, namely to renegotiate the collective bargaining agreement for the social care sector. This is one of the claims belonging to the Sanitas Federation, we care about it, and the fact that today (on Monday – e,n,), our request was taken into account is a moment of returning to the dialogue table. (…) I don’t think that the negotiations on the collective bargaining agreement will be fast-paced, so that it will be signed and registered by the end of the week, thus blocking the protests” stated the Sanitas Vice President Mircea Ciocan, before entering the Health Ministry.
“We have a common problem that we must solve in favor of the employees – we have an incomplete and discriminatory Pay Law, which caused a real crisis in the health and social care system. We must make those who have the power to find the solutions to solve it, according to the promises they made when they got the power!” the Sanitas unionists say.
They complain about the serious drop in incomes and ask for the removal of the 30% ceiling per principal authorizing officer, imposed by the Pay Law, which ceiling limits the increases in the new Regulation, a possible solution being the exclusion of the additional payment for Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays and the additional payment for guards from the 30 percent limit.
SANITAS Federation requested salary increases for all the employees of the health and social care system, as well as to negotiate and sign the collective bargaining agreements for the two fields of activity, claims that triggered the protest program.
On May 8, according to the PM Viorica Dancila’s announcement, representatives of the health unions will talk with the PM, with the Health Minister, with the Labour Minister and the Finance Minister, to find solutions for the claims of the health employees.
On April 26, SANITAS Federation organized a rally in Victoriei Square from Bucharest, where almost 10,000 protesters participated.
Sanitas health union head: Collective bargaining unlocked, yet conditions not ripe to call off protest
“Although negotiations on the collective bargaining agreement have been unlocked, the conditions are not yet ripe to suspend protest actions”, vice-president of the Sanitas health trade union Mircea Ciocan said on Monday after talks with Health Ministry representatives.
Ciocan said that the strike announced for May 11 has not been called off.
“Practically, negotiations started somewhere in April last year and were closed after being deadlocked in August. In terms of procedures, a new round of negotiations on the collective bargaining agreement has started. We will capitalize on talks last year, but we also started fresh negotiations on the collective bargaining agreement. (…) We start from a new concept of collective bargaining agreement and a new contract. The draft agreement relies on what has been negotiated so far. (…) We appointed the negotiation teams, we set the negotiation schedule as well as the deadline until which we want to complete these negotiations – it’s 60 days,” said the trade union leader.
Ciocan said that the Sanitas Federation has set a faster-paced calendar in order to intensify negotiations and meet this 60-day deadline.
Health unionists, called on Tuesday at the Government, to discuss with PM Viorica Dancila
PM Viorica Dancila invited the health unionists’ leaders to discuss with her on Tuesday, at the Victoria Palace. The talks are established in the context in which the medical staff went on a warning strike on Monday, for two hours, and they will be on a general strike on Friday, May 11. Health unionists are asking for the amendment of the regulation on increases and of the Pay Law.
Thus, on Tuesday morning, health unionists will meet PM Viorica Dancila at the Government. The talks will be also attended by the Health Minister, the Labour Minister and the Finance Minister.
Unionists say that there were salary drops from RON 500 to RON 1,100. Therefore, the main claims of the health employees are related to the amendment of the Pay Law, in order to remove the 30% ceiling for increases, salary increases for all the employees in the health and social care system and the negotiation and conclusion of the collective bargaining agreements in the two fields of activity.