Health and social care unions were again joined by hospital campaigning groups in a major national mobilisation on 17 December, following earlier days of strikes and protests in October and November (see EPSU CB News No.22, November and No.19, October). The campaign is highlighting the catastrophic situation in many health institutions as a result of underfunding. The key demands include increased funding and recruitment, a general increase in salaries and an immediate block on closures of health facilities. The protests combined with the continuing mobilisation against planned pension reforms.
Health unions continue action over pay and funding
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May. 16, 2019 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.
Mar. 15, 2019 The Sanitas health union is continuing to put pressure on the government over health sector pay and the need to negotiate a collective agreement for the sector. A recent union delegation from across the country met the health minister to call for assurances that this year's pay rise will be fully funded and that bonuses will apply to all health workers. The union underlined its determination to pursue its demands with the promise of another delegation going to the labour ministry on 20 March and plans for a national rally in Bucharest in April.