Health and social care workers took part in over 250 demonstrations across the country on 16 June in a major mobilisation by trade unions and campaigning groups. An estimated 80000 joined the main protest in Paris. Although partly in reaction to the COVID-19 crisis, the mobilisation is part of a long-running campaign by trade unions to secure increased health funding, better pay and conditions for workers, increased staffing and a block on closures and privatisation.
Massive mobilisation of health and care workers
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Ten trade union organisations, supported by users and their families, directors and doctors, organised a second day of national strike action and protests in the eldercare sector. Over 200000 people joined demonstrations around the country boosted by protests in support of pensioner rights. The unions in eldercare want increased funding, a commitment to a one-to-one staffing ratio and improved pay and career development. The action lead to a meeting with health minister Agnès Buzyn but with no concrete response from the government as yet.
The SINTAP trade union has welcomed the payment of a COVID-19 bonus for health workers who have been involved in treating infected patients. It is a lump sum worth 50% of basic pay. Workers will also get an extra day of leave for every 80 hours they have worked during the emergency and a further day of leave for every 48 hours of overtime worked during the same period. The union has, however, called for the bonus to be extended to other groups of workers. Meanwhile the SEP nurses' union has secured changes for nurses which ensure firstly that if infected with COVID-19 this is assumed to be