The POEDIN health workers' union organised a national strike and demonstration on 16 May in protest at the austerity still being suffered by the public health service. The union argues that massive underfunding and staff shortages are making it impossible to deliver services and many people are forced to use the expensive private sector as waiting lists rise. There is a recruitment crisis in the sector with no new workers taken on over the last three years while 3000 have retired. Overall staffing is 6000 below its 2014 level while workers face poverty wages. A university trained nurse has a starting salary of only EUR 640 a month. Understaffing has led to overwork with hospital workers owed anything from 60 to 150 days' of compensatory leave.