EPSU supports Ukrainian health workers' protests

(17 October 2014) EPSU sends solidarity greetings to the Ukrainian Health Workers’ Union in its struggle to prevent thousands of job cuts.

On Wednesday 15 October, union members took strike action and made up a major part of a demonstration outside the Cabinet Ministers’ office organised by the Ukrainian trade union confederation. The demonstration was over attacks on labour rights, demands for decent pay and work but also highlighted the threat to 25,000 health jobs. The government is planning to reorganise the state health and epidemiological service, merging into a new Department of Food Safety and Consumer Protection. As a result 25,000 health workers are facing dismissal.

This is an appalling threat not just to health workers but to the crucial service they provide, particularly when there are increasing concerns about the spread of the ebola virus outside Western Africa, too.

EPSU wishes the Ukrainian health workers’ union every success in its campaign to save jobs in the sector and also acknowledges the hard work the union is doing in supporting its members in Eastern Ukraine. The unstable political situation means that many health workers have not been paid for several months and the continuing violence in Eastern Ukraine is putting additional pressure on health services.

EPSU expresses its support to the President of the Ukrainian Health Workers’ Union, Viktoria Koval, in advocating a reversal of the government plans for job cuts and the destruction of the state health and epidemiological service in the meetings with the Presidential Administration yesterday and in the Collegium of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine today .

You’ll find photos from the strike action on the Ukrainian Health Workers’ Union website and here – the slogans on the posters read “We need to save the State Sanitary and Epidemiological Service, to save the health of the nation” or “The Ebola threat is growing”.

You find the Ukrainian version of EPSU's solidarity message here.

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