The younion and GÖD public sector unions, representing around 120000 workers in health and social care have called on the Austrian Chancellor to stand by his commitment to improve pay for those working in intensive care during the pandemic. The two unions underline that their demand covers all health and care workers, not just intensive care staff, as they are all part of an essential team and need to work together to deliver care and who have endured significant physical and mental challenges in maintaining services. Younion and GÖD are calling for a tax-free €1000 bonus for all health and care staff, which they argue would be a big contribution to the country’s recovery plan, injecting extra demand into the economy. The unions emphasise that this only one element of the response to the crisis which has exposed longstanding problems in understaffing. The unions want to see a major offensive to boost training as a key step increasing recruitment to the sectors.
Unions call for bonus for health and care workers
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The four trade unions representing health and social care workers in the public and private sectors – younion, GÖD, vida and GPA-djp – have written an open letter to national and regional governments calling for urgent action on training. The unions say that an additional 75000 trained workers will be need in the sectors by 2030 and that measures need to be taken to increase the number of trainees to help meet the demand. Unlike other professions, health and care trainees are not paid when they are working on the job during their training. The unions argue that this is a major disincentive to
The HSSMS-MT nursing union has joined with other nursing organisations in submitting a series of demands on the government to address the urgent problem of understaffing resulting from emigration and retirement. The joint document highlights the increased pressure that the health service faces and the failure of recent governments to provide solutions. The unions and associations want to see proper recognition of qualifications and responsibilities in the job and pay structure and recruitment of more staff. They are also calling for clear plan to address training and education needs.
The GÖD public service union is calling for compulsory paid internships in the health and care sector. It says that with changes to training implemented in 2016, workers on higher education courses have to undertake compulsory practical work in hospitals and care centres. This amounts to over 2000 hours of unpaid work during training, including night and weekend work. GÖD underlines the importance of increasing recruitment into the sector to tackle shortages of skilled staff, making it essential that internships are properly paid.