Health and social care workers demonstrate

Germany

Services union ver.di coordinated demonstrations across the country on 16 June to coincide with a meeting of health ministers. In the lead up to the general election in September, the union has been determined to show members’ anger over the failure to deliver improved working conditions for health and social care employees. A survey of over 12000 workers commissioned by ver.di revealed that 78% could not imagine staying in their profession until retirement under current conditions. Almost three quarters of respondents reported excessive workloads and understaffing. The union is concerned about the quality of services with 43% of those questioned saying that hospital patients cannot always be closely monitored after an operation. Almost three out of four employees in geriatric care do not have time to hold discussions and listen – with da corresponding impact on the quality of life of those in need of care. Among service staff, 23% are dependent on second or third jobs in order to make ends meet financially. Ver.di reiterated its call for the government to act to deliver better pay and staffing levels.

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