The proposed terms and conditions of employment would have affected a total of 420,000 municipal workers, including nurses, doctors, social workers, teachers and educators.
Chief physicians from six major hospital districts responded to the news this year joint opinionns. the scope of sheltered work – that is, work that must also be done during industrial action so as not to endanger the health or life of citizens – is insufficient between workers ‘and employers’ organizations.
“The organizations have promised that emergency care will be secured. Judging by the extent of the sheltered work offered, it is inaccurate, Markku MäkijärviChief Physician of the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District (HUS), said To YLE on Wednesday.
He and his colleagues estimate that the strike will jeopardize the administration of emergency care by threatening care in both emergency services and first aid units.
According to Mäkijärvi, the number of personnel committed to on-call duties is 40 per cent lower than usual.
“It is not enough. Emergency work cannot be reduced. It is never known who is in danger, and therefore emergency work must be covered by fully sheltered work,” he stressed.
Chief physicians said they had given unions accurate estimates of the number of staff needed to secure critical healthcare functions, but expert estimates were ignored, endangering patients ’health and lives at worst.
The strike is sure to delay all non-urgent appointments and cuts.
Wages have been the main controversy in the labor dispute. The health care union Tehy and the Nursing Association Super have demanded that the salaries of social and health workers be raised by 3.6 per cent a year over the next five years, in addition to regular increases. Local and provincial government employers (KT) rejected their claims as too expensive.
“The settlement proposal is completely useless” complained Silja PaavolaSuper chairman.
“If public social and health care is to continue in this country, policy-makers need to intervene. Politicians are avoiding and circumventing it, but social and health services, their funding and, in particular, their future are ultimately their responsibility.”
Millaikka RytkönenTehyn, the chairman, told YLE that he was sad and angry when he read the settlement proposal.
“This proposal would have weakened the current situation of nurses in all respects. This did not include solutions to promote rewards or improve working conditions. This is a completely useless suggestion, he said. “You say nurses are priceless, but no one wants to pay them. This is a completely incomprehensible situation right now.”
If the labor dispute is not resolved by mid-April, the strike will expand to cover 13 hospital districts and about 40,000 nursing professionals. Other municipal workers, such as teachers, early childhood educators and social workers, will also go on strike in April.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: The Nordic Page