The younion trade union reports that a trade union-backed petition calling for better pay and conditions in healthcare has been blocked by a parliamentary committee. The citizens' initiative, supported by over 70,000 signatories, called for action on the major problems facing the sector, including a demand for more training and better pay for trainees, a national assessment of staffing needs and recognition of nursing as an arduous occupation. The parliamentary committee on petitions and citizens' initiatives decided no further action would be taken in response to the petition, despite the pressing need to address staffing shortages. Meanwhile, works council representatives from the vida trade union in religious hospitals in the Upper Austria region met on 29 March to discuss a demand to move to a 35-hour week without loss of pay. The key argument is to make the sector more attractive and to reduce the excessive burdens on employees – essential measures to address the staff shortages across the sector.
Health initiative blocked in parliament
More like this
After several weeks of conflict, rallies and the threat of strike action, the HSMCTU health union, with the support of the GTUC confederation, secured an agreement from the Ministry of Health that it would not introduce a 12-hour work schedule for paramedics. The Ministry also agreed to remunerate employees’ overtime work and to have further meetings with the union to discuss how to increase salaries. The dispute had arisen following the Ministry’s decision to remove a wage supplement that had been introduced during the Covid pandemic and its plan to introduce a 12-hour work schedule
Services union ver.di is in negotiations with the VKA municipal employers’ association to improve working conditions in municipal emergency services. The union is calling for a maximum working week of 44 hours (down from 48) as a first step and other measures to protect the health of employees. Ver.di warns that more workers will leave the sector if this issue is not addressed and cites the Red Cross as an example where hours reductions are being achieved. At the end of November, ver.di agreed with employers to gradually reduce weekly working hours (including on-call time) from the current
The OSZSP health and social care union has cited official statistics showing a shortage of 3000 nurses across the country to underline its longstanding message that urgent action is needed to recruit and retain health workers. The union further warns that on current trends and without action the shortage could rise to 13000 in five years’ time. The union makes clear that excessive workloads and long hours are key factors in deterring young people from joining health professions and that the government’s proposal to increase overtime limits will only add to the problem, while threatening the