• Sunday, 14 July 2024

Health unions threaten 'hot fall' unless demands are met

Health unions threaten 'hot fall' unless demands are met

Skopje, 7 August 2023 (MIA) — Independent Healthcare Union and Independent Geriatrics Union representatives met with Ministry of Information Society and Administration officials Monday to discuss flaws in their collective agreements still unaddressed by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Health. Following the meeting, unionists announced a "hot fall" of protests to be held together with the police unless their demands were met by September.


"At the meeting, it was decided that the many anomalies in the collective agreements of health workers, health administrative staff, and maintenance staff need to be resolved," Independent Healthcare Union national coordinator Bobi Bojchevski told reporters.


He said health care workers were marginalized and could barely make ends meet, with many of them living month to month if not day to day.


Pointing out that "it's better to put out the embers than a raging fire," Bojchevski said they would stage mass protests in September unless they got 30 percent raises. "When other employees can have their salaries increased by 30 percent, we feel discriminated against in this society," he noted.


Independent Geriatrics Union leader Lazo Kostovski said nurses and paramedics should also be placed in the category of health workers and stop receiving minimal wage.


"Now it is up to the employers whether they accept this [suggestion] from our meeting today and update their files or continue as before, not considering them health workers but maintenance personnel, which is not right," he said.


According to Kostovski, Ministry of Information Society and Administration officials said they had submitted requests to the finance minister and the health minister regarding this category of employees but there had been no response. The unions were promised, however, that this ministry from now on would exert more pressure on those ministries to solve these problems.


Kostovski also announced a "hot fall" of protests if a solution was not reached with the ministers of finance and health by September. mr/