Members of the ver.di public services union employed by the private healthcare company Asklepios are taking action across the country to try to secure collective agreements. Only a third of the company's 46000 workers are covered by an agreement with most facing unilateral decisions by management on their pay. In some facilities this means employees are being paid EUR 1000 a month less than those doing the equivalent job in a public sector hospital. In some cases workers have rejected higher pay offers from management and demanded that the union be able to negotiate a collective agreement.
Health workers mobilise for collective agreements
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The Sanitas health union is continuing to put pressure on the government over health sector pay and the need to negotiate a collective agreement for the sector. A recent union delegation from across the country met the health minister to call for assurances that this year's pay rise will be fully funded and that bonuses will apply to all health workers. The union underlined its determination to pursue its demands with the promise of another delegation going to the labour ministry on 20 March and plans for a national rally in Bucharest in April.
Health unions have managed to ensure that the government will honour the current collective agreement that commited it to pay increases of 3% and 4% this year. The unions were forced to organise a high-profile national campaign - "5 to midnight" - when the government indicated it would not implement the increases. The campaign highlighted the state of the health service, understaffing and overwork and the need to recognise health workers' commitment. The unions are now looking forward to the start of the next pay negotiations and will continue their campaign on the need to invest in the health