Minister fails to commit extra funding for maternity agreement


Trade unions representing midwives, including the FNV and NU'91, say they are disappointed by the response of the health minister to the urgent letter sent to the minister by the five unions at the end of December. With 1000 vacancies across the country the unions are extremely worried about the capacity of the service to guarantee care for pregnant mothers. The extra work taken on by midwives to cover for the vacant positions means many are dealing with heavy workloads and have had to cutback on holidays. The unions estimate that midwives’ pay is on average 10% below salaries in eldercare. A survey of members by the FNV found 84% of maternity nurses willing to take action in support of better pay and conditions. The sixth round of negotiations on a new collective agreement is due on 8 February.

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