Recent developments in social dialogue, collective bargaining and industrial action in the Slovak health care system

(Brussels, 8 October 2012) The summary information contains and attached to this article highlights some aspects of recent developments in collective bargaining on pay and working conditions and industrial action in the sector of health and social services in Slovakia. It has been compiled as EPSU considers that the trends and conflicts described are far from being a unique feature of the Slovak Republic, but rather well reflect challenges to social dialogue, social partnership and collective bargaining common to a broader range of countries, not least in Central and Eastern Europe, but also in other parts of the EU.
The article deals with demands and achievements of EPSU affiliate “Slovak Trade Union of Health and Social Services” ({Slovenský odborový zväz zdravotníctva a sociálnych služieb}) (SOZ ZaSS) and by other actors in the Slovak health care system. It refers to planned and implemented structural reforms of the health care system that threaten its public service character, universal access and affordability of health care. It also points out the consequences of underfinancing for the pay and working conditions of the workers and employees in all professions in the health care system.
The summary information is mainly based on a statement elaborated by SOZ ZaSS, but it also includes information from a letter of the Slovak Chamber of Nurses and Midwives ({Slovenská komora sestier a pôrodných asistentiek}) to the European Midwives Association and material of the Doctors’ Trade Union Association ({Lekárské odborové združenie}), the Slovak Medical Chamber ({Slovenská Lekárska Komora}) and the European Federation of Salaried Doctors (FEMS). It is structured by topics and to some extent also chronologically.

For further reading here is a study/an article on the [industrial relations in the health care sector in Slovakia->http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/eiro/studies/tn1008022s/sk1008029q.htm#contentpage], written by Marta Kahančová from the Central European Labour Studies Institute (CELSI) in Bratislava, published in April 2011 under the European Industrial Relations Observatory (EIRO) on behalf of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (EUROFOUND) - and also building on documents from SOZ ZaSS.