Health union ver.di has suspended its strike action in university hospitals in Düsseldorf and Essen to allow mediators to help resolve the conflict over workloads and staffing (see previous three issues of epsucob@NEWS). It agreed to the initiative following the intervention of the labour minister of the North Rhine Westfalia region. Earlier in the year ver.di was successful in negotiating a key agreement on staffing and workloads covering hospitals in Freiburg, Heidelburg, Tübingen and Ulm in the Baden-Württemburg region. The agreement set out a procedure for determining staffing levels in different sections and what should be done when staff numbers fell below the agreed quota. It also committed the institutions to create 120 full-time posts between them and established certain basic rules including a minimum of two workers per night shift one of whom should have at least three years' training.