After the meeting with representatives of the Ministry of Health, representatives of the Protest and Strike Committee of Healthcare Workers informed that the parties had failed to reach an agreement. “We feel that the talks are delayed and that the representatives of the Ministry of Health are playing for time,” the joint statement wrote. Protesters also mentioned errors in the ministry’s calculations. After the meeting, the Deputy Minister of Health was asked about this, who said that the data came “from publicly available websites”. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday.
The second meeting of the representatives of the Ministry of Health and the Protest and Strike Committee of Healthcare Workers was held at the “Dialog” Social Partnership Center in Warsaw. The meeting was attended by, among others, Deputy Minister Piotr Bromber.
After the meeting, representatives of the protesters met with journalists and read a joint statement. “There are still no specific proposals from the government. In addition, the materials sent yesterday by the minister of health contain factual errors. The ‘cosmic’ amount of cost increases, which the minister of health often and willingly talks about, for example also includes the currently paid salaries of health care workers, so it is artificially overstated. Calling a spade a spade: unfortunately this is just manipulation “- it was written.
“We feel that the talks are delayed, and the representatives of the Ministry of Health are delaying. We are disappointed and disappointed,” he added.
The statement noted that “the quality of the substantive preparation of the representatives of the Ministry of Health also leaves much to be desired: no answers to questions, materials with calculations are incomplete, data results from calculations based on password-locked and hidden formulas in files, etc.”
Protesters said “the mistakes are obvious” and, for example, said: “All dentists were taken into account when calculating the cost of wage increases, nearly 90 percent of whom do not work in the public health system.”
“We should intensify the dialogue. We proposed another meeting tomorrow and the introduction of two neutral observers on each side who, as people not involved in the protest, will be able to judge the quality and pace of the negotiations,” it was proposed. However, the statement said that Friday’s meeting proposal had been rejected and “the presence of outside observers had been called into question”.
The letter declared “full readiness for talks and cooperation, so that finally there will be changes for the better in public health care for all Polish women and men”.
The vice-president of the Alliance of Residents Anna Bazydło noted that the Ministry of Health “does not enable” the substantive dialogue to which it invites. – We do not receive data and calculations, we are not able to refer to the materials on the basis of which the Ministry of Health informs the states about the costs of our demands. Therefore, it prevents us from having a substantive discussion on improving health protection in Poland, said Bazydło. – Disagreement with the presence of observers at the “Dialog” Center or further attempts to include us in a tripartite team unfortunately lead to an impasse in our conflict – she added.
The representative of the Alliance of Residents, Piotr Pisula, informed that after the conference they would go to the white town to determine the form and further course of the protest. “Another meeting is scheduled for Tuesday,” he announced.
Deputy health minister after another meeting with the protesters
Piotr Bromber, deputy minister of health, responsible in the ministry, inter alia, for dialogue, also spoke to journalists after the meeting. He reported that the government side presented the time perspective for the years 2022-2027.
– We presented three variants of our possibilities in different percentage terms. We have accurately assigned to a specific perspective expenditure of over 90 billion – he described. He specified that there were three specific possibilities, what would be the minimum wage increases.
When asked about the opinion of the protesters that the ministry had wrongly calculated the costs of salary increases, for example for dentists, he replied that as far as the data used by the ministry is concerned, they come from “publicly available websites”. – We were obliged until yesterday, we made an agreement that we would provide the other party with the necessary documents. And by yesterday these documents were sent. We also explained the assumptions for the calculation. I was available all evening, no one called, he said.
When asked about the next date of the meeting, he said that it was 11 o’clock on Tuesday.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Health: no one with reasonable mind may be tempted to say that today we will end the protest
Earlier that day, the spokesman for the Ministry of Health, Wojciech Andrusiewicz, announced that the meeting was presenting calculations of the protesters’ demands. – The calculations based on the postulates that we received have not changed substantially. We are still talking about an increase in expenditure within a few months by PLN 104 billion, including PLN 65 billion for the mere increase in salaries – the spokesman pointed out.
– According to the postulates, the mere increase in the minimum wage for a specialist doctor within four months would be PLN 8,800. The increase in the minimum salary for a physician during specialization alone, i.e. up to six thousand gross. And we are talking about a salary for a doctor without specialization, an increase in the minimum salary of five thousand zlotys. These detailed explanations have been provided, but we also expect answers and we hope that they will fall during today’s meeting, for example, as to how we are to count seniority – enumerated Andrusiewicz.
When asked if there was a chance for a compromise, he replied that there was always a chance when the parties sat down at the table. – That is why it is so important that the dialogue is taking place at the moment. But I make a reservation that this dialogue will not end today, and no one with reasonable mind may be tempted to say that today we will end the protest, that we will reach an agreement today. Rather, it will be a long process, said the spokesman.
He stated that employers and trade unions should also participate in the talks. – We are meeting today with the protest committee, but if we are talking about any increase in wages, someone will have to implement this increase in wages, and this is the side of employers – he stressed.
As he added, the increase in health care expenditure is always right, but “we are not able to spend PLN 104 billion within four months”
Employers urge to include them in the negotiations
Employers of the Republic of Poland and the Polish Federation of Hospitals issued an appeal on Thursday to allow employers to participate in the ongoing negotiations between protesting employees of the health care system and the government.
“Employers of the Republic of Poland and the Polish Federation of Hospitals have always appealed and continue to call for an in-depth dialogue and cooperation with all stakeholders of the health care system, for joint creation of patient solutions improving access to treatment, ensuring quality and optimizing the use of resources, including decent working conditions for employees of the entities. medicinal “- indicated in the appeal.
“Therefore, we ask employers to allow employers to participate in the ongoing negotiations between the protesters and the government. The consequences of these talks will ultimately affect the management and activities of individual employers” – reads the appeal.
Its signatories – the vice-president of Employers of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Mądala, and the president of the Polish Federation of Hospitals, Jarosław Fedorowski – indicated in the appeal that “it is not possible to develop a consensus without the participation of the employers”.
“The first step to overcome the impasse” after Tuesday’s talks
The previous meeting was held in “Dialog” on Tuesday, September 21. The Deputy Minister of Health, Piotr Bromber, who was there, assessed them as very good. He announced that on the following Thursday, the parties undertook to provide documents and information that will help clarify the demands and costs.
Krystyna Ptok, chairman of the Polish National Trade Union of Nurses and Midwives, assessed that meeting as “technical”. Artur Drobniak, vice-president of the Supreme Medical Council, assessed the meeting as “the first step to overcome the impasse”.
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.
Agreement with the Protest Committee of Paramedics
On the other hand, the Protestant Committee of Medical Rescuers undertook to stop the protest action as of the date of signing the agreement. The Health Protection Protesting and Strike Committee in a Twitter post stressed that “the agreement was signed with one paramedics’ union”, and “the majority of the community do not identify with this signature”.
Main photo source: tvn24