Services union ver.di is targetting a selection of public and private hospitals in seven regions, calling on them to negotiate agreements to reduce excessive workloads. The union argues that many healthworkers are under pressure to work long hours to fill the gap left by a shortage of 162000 workers across the sector. This is having a detrimental impact on workers' health and ver.di wants employers to recognise this and their responsibility to provide good working conditions.
Union targets hospitals in negotiations to reduce workloads
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Health services union ver.di is considering all-out strike action following the refusal of management at the Düsseldorf and Essen university hospitals to negotiate an agreement to tackle excessive workloads (see two previous editions of epsucob@NEWS). The union had been discussing various measures to tackle staff shortages and overwork and it had welcomed an initiative by the employers to take on 100 extra staff. Further talks were expected but then to ver.di's surprise on 14 August the employers announced that they wouldn't be seeking to negotiate an agreement. Ver.di will continue to press
Ver.di, the main trade union in the health sector, is close to securing an agreement on staffing and workloads with Augsburg hospital in Bavaria. As the institution is set to become a university hospital from 1 January next year, the agreement has to be confirmed by the state health minister. Ver.di members at the hospital have voted 93% in favour of industrial action and so the union says it is ready to take action if the agreement is rejected. Similar to other agreements negotiated recently in hospitals in North Rhine Westphalia and Saarland, the Augsburg deal will mean additional jobs - 100