The OSZSP health and social care union met with ministry of health officials earlier this month to discuss staffing levels in the social care sector. The union has been pushing hard for the government to introduce safe and effective staffing levels. It underlines the need for this to be done on the basis of real assessment of needs and not on the basis of current staffing levels as many institutions are understaffed and staff overworked. The union also wants increased funding for providers which it sees as necessary to increase staff and tackle low pay in the sector where the average wage is CZK 5000 (EUR 195) lower than the national average across the whole economy.
Union continues to push for more staff in social services
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The health workers' union has called for increased funding for the sector to deal with the major problem of healthworkers' pay. The union reports that an analysis of wage developments in the first half of 2017 found that average pay for doctors and other medical staff actually fell in seven Russian regions while in contrast wages in industry increased. The wide range of salaries across the country is exacerbating staff shortages and the union highlights the fact that in many institutions the pay bill is the first to be cut in order to fund other areas of health spending.
The FSS-CCOO and FeSP-UGT public service unions mobilised members working in care across the country on 7 November to put pressure on the employers to agree to a EUR 1000 minimum monthly wage for the sector (14 payments). Demonstrations took place outside several of the regional headquarters of the CEOE employers' organisation. The unions are demanding urgent action to improve pay for the overwhelmingly female workforce that faces challenging working conditions with significant risks of musculo-skeletal and psycho-social disorders. The next action is planned for 14 December.
On 9 October the KTAMS civil service union organised a day of strike action in all workplaces in which it organises in protest at the sharply falling purchasing power of workers' pay. A steep decline in the Turkish Lira has led to much higher inflation, leaving the minimum wage effectively below the poverty level. The union wants to see legislation that will ensure the increasing cost of living is reflected in workers' pay on a monthly basis. During the day's strike action, KTAMS is organising a march to the parliament to present its proposals.