The LVSADA health union is extremely concerned that the state budget for 2019 will not include promised funding to cover pay increases for health workers. The union has called for rises of around 20% as an essential step to try to stem the loss of workers to other sectors or to other countries. LVSADA believes that the outgoing government made the promise as an election ploy and is now saying it has no responsibility for the budget. Following elections in October negotiations are underway to form a new government.
Health union warns of government failure to fund wage increases
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The FNV, CNV and NU’91 unions that organise health workers have made a joint call on the government to commit to funding pay increases in 2021. In recent negotiations over the agreement covering University Medical Centres (76000 workers), the employers said there was no room for pay rises unless there was an increase in reimbursement to health insurers. The unions are worried that it will be the same message from employers in the other 10 agreements covering health and social care staff that are due for negotiation in 2021. The unions say that it is vital that the government makes funds
Around 5000 health workers joined a national demonstration in Sofia on 7 October to call for higher pay and more training to help prevent the loss of more staff from the sector. Following the protest a delegation met the health minister who committed an extra BGN 200m (EUR 102m) to the 2020 budget, three quarters of which would go to fund salary increases. The CITUB confederation said that this would help ensure salaries met a target of BGN 900-950 (EUR 460-485) for nurses and BGN 1100-1200 (EUR 560-615) for doctors.