In Warsaw, there is a protest of health workers who created the white town. They demand raises and better working conditions. They want to meet the prime minister because, in their opinion, the talks with the minister of health did not bring results. The spokesman for the Ministry of Health, Wojciech Andrusiewicz, accused them of “the only demand of a group of protesters is the presence of the prime minister”.
On Saturday, health care workers marched through the streets of Warsaw in protest, and then created “White Town 2.0” near the Chancellery of the Prime Minister (Chancellery of the Prime Minister). The protesters gathered in the town announce that they will stay there until their demands are fulfilled. Among other things, they are demanding higher wages and changes to the system. They want to meet the prime minister because – as they claim – the meetings with the minister of health have brought no effect. “White Town 2.0” refers to the nurses’ protest in summer 2007.
According to the Ministry of Health, the total cost of meeting the demands put forward by the protesters is PLN 26.05 billion this year, and PLN 104.7 billion next year.
Healthcare workers’ protest. Wojciech Andrusiewicz comments
The spokesman for the Ministry of Health, Wojciech Andrusiewicz, spoke about the protest of health care workers in an interview with a TVN24 reporter. – It seems that the presence of the prime minister has been the only demand of a group of protesters recently. If we invite these people to talks and want to discuss the postulates, we want to present calculations – what the protesters themselves requested – and these people do not come to the meeting, because their only condition is the presence of the prime minister, then the question arises. Do we want to discuss changes or not? he said.
According to the spokesman, “the group of paramedics is the best example.” – Yesterday there was a long meeting between Deputy Minister Waldemar Kraska and the rescuers. Then with the employers. Financial proposals have been presented. I think we are on a straight path to ending this dispute, which is mainly on the employee-employer line, said Andrusiewicz.
As he added, talks with rescuers are “a testimony to the fact that if we talk and discuss postulates, we are able to communicate”.
– There are very few lifeguards in the white town. Lifeguards are here at Miodowa 15 (at the headquarters of the health ministry – ed.) Every two weeks and they talk. This is a professional group that talks to us, unlike other groups that are in the white town. There is no compromise by protest alone. You have to talk – emphasized the spokesman.
The protesters want to meet the prime minister. “It is impossible to talk to the minister”
Piotr Pisula from the Alliance of Residents in an interview with a TVN24 reporter explained why the protesters demanded a meeting with the prime minister. – The experience of the lack of dialogue with Minister Niedzielski, a dialogue that brings nothing, has shown us that it does not make sense – he said.
– We are doctors, sometimes we struggle with a disease that we are trying to treat with a basic drug, the so-called first-line drug. When it doesn’t work, we don’t insist on giving it all the time, but trying to change our behavior. And here it is similar. If the dialogue with the minister of health does not work for many months, now we do not feel that this dialogue will suddenly work – he explained.
– It’s not like we don’t want to talk to the minister because we made a protest. We protested because it is impossible to talk to the minister, he stressed.
Main photo source: PAP / Radek Pietruszka