Health unions in Bulgaria signed a new collective agreement on 8 November which includes substantial pay increases for workers across the sector. Compared to the pay rates set in the 2016 collective agreement, the minimum wage for nurses, midwives and laboratory technicians will increase by 22% from 900 lev (EUR 460) to 1100 lev (EUR 560) a month. The basic rate for doctors and pharmacists will increase by just under 30% from 1200 lev (EUR 615) to 1550 lev (EUR 790). Higher increases of up to 50% will be paid to medical specialists.
Major pay boost for healthworkers
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(October 2016) After six months of negotiations the health unions from the CITUB and Podkrepa confederations have negotiated a new collective agreement with the Mnistry of Health and health employers that includes pay increases of between 15% and 40% for healthworkers. The increases are part of an attempt to stem the flow of trained staff out of the country and include a 30% increase on the minimum wage in the sector.
Services union ver.di has negotiated significant pay increases (18% in 2018 and 7.5% in 2019) for employees of the Alba Logistik waste company in Berlin. The hourly rates are now EUR 12.57 for a driver and EUR 10.74 for a waste worker, Apprentices will also see higher monthly payments with EUR 700 in their first year, rising to EUR 780 in 2019. The result was achieved after three rounds of negotiations and a warning strike last year. Ver.di also attributes the success to a high level of union organisation in the company.
Latest data indicate that average salaries in healthcare across the country for the first six months of 2020 were 9% higher than for the same period in 2019.The healthworkers' union says that special payments for working with COVID-19 patients has contributed to this bearing in mind that many healthworkers would not be on full pay because of sickness or isolation measures. However, the union has made it clear to the government that there have been problems with ensuring the extra payments apply to all hours worked and that any change to the payments system has to guarantee the COVID bonus for