Another meeting of the representatives of the Ministry of Health and the Protest and Strike Committee of Healthcare Workers began on Tuesday with the “Dialog” Social Partnership Center in Warsaw.
The president of the National Trade Union of Nurses and Midwives Krystyna Ptok told journalists before the meeting that a press conference was planned in the “white town 2.0” two hours after its end.
When asked if the protests would escalate if the talks fail, Ptok said that “such a plan is from the beginning.”
– Minister (Piotr – ed.) Bromber says we are not to scare, but this plan was developed by the committee at the time of the establishment. A plan that we would not like to implement due to the patients and the media situation that is created around our activities, presenting us in a bad light, because we see how a message is created in the media, especially close to the government – she added.
When asked which of the postulates was the most difficult, chairperson Ptok pointed out that the first two, the proposal to amend the law on the lowest wages, which, she added, was the basis for the protest on September 11, and the postulate to increase expenditure and increase the valuation of benefits.
Referring to the comment that protesters are going to talks “without undue hope of a quick finale,” Ptok said, “you’re right.”
Andrusiewicz: We have presented three different paths as part of salary increase
MZ spokesman Wojciech Andrusiewicz told the media that the meeting concerned all eight demands submitted to the ministry by protesters.
– Now, a bit differently than recently, we are starting with strictly financial issues, including the minimum wage table in medical professions – he said, pointing out that the Ministry of Health sent a letter with explanations to the protest committee on Sunday.
– We have presented three different paths as part of the salary increase in the coming years until 2027. Today’s dialogue will not finish the question of the eight demands yet, but we hope to come closer to a certain agreement. This requires a compromise approach on both sides, he stressed.
Part of the matter – as he recalled – was referred for mutual consultation by the lawyers of the parties, and the issue of leave after 15 years of work is consulted, inter alia, with the Ministry of Family and Social Policy. Financial issues, he assessed, “fuel the discussion the most.”
When asked about the committee’s opinion that MZ’s calculations were incomplete, a spokesman for MZ said he had “heard such conclusions”. – Our position is clearly defined, these calculations are complete, they represent the full consumption of all postulates. If the committee lacks something, we are open to such a report. For today we have not heard what is to be missing there – he said.
Answering the question about the acceleration of the salary path, Andrusiewicz said that the presidium of the Tripartite Team for Health Protection, operating at the Minister of Health, would meet on Thursday.
– This team has the power to make all decisions and give opinions on all materials. We must remember that, apart from the protest and strike committee, there are other parties that negotiate and give opinions – including the trade unions represented in the team – Solidarność and OPZZ, as well as the employers’ side. We cannot ignore any of these pages – emphasized Andrusiewicz.
Healthcare workers’ demands
The National Protest and Strike Committee for Healthcare Workers has eight demands. They include, among others increases, real increase in the valuation of benefits, lump sums and the so-called ambulances, as well as the employment of additional administrative and support staff, and the introduction of employment standards related to the number of patients.
The Committee also calls for, inter alia, providing medical professions with the status of a public official and creating a system of protecting employees against verbal and physical aggression of patients, introducing sick leave after 15 years of professional work, as well as enacting the laws on laboratory medicine and the profession of paramedic.
According to the Ministry of Health, the total costs of implementing the demands of the protest committee would be enormous. The management of the Ministry of Health emphasizes that the implementation of the salary demands of the protesting medics is unsustainable in next year’s budget and declares that it wants to talk about salaries and the path of their growth.
Main photo source: PAP / Radek Pietruszka