Slovakia’s Constitutional Court supported a proposal by the general prosecutor's first secretary to review the constitutionality of the Act on Minimum Salaries for Nurses and Midwives and suspended the validity of the law, the TASR newswire reported based on a statement from the Constitutional Court’s spokesperson, Anna Pančurová, on July 11.

The General Prosecutor's Office submitted the proposal to the Constitutional Court on June 25 in response to an effort by the Slovak Doctor's Chamber to strike down the law that established higher minimum salaries for nurses and midwives beginning this April. The motion was filed on the basis that the law provided non-systematic salary hikes only for selected medical personnel as well as a lack of financial resources to pay the salary increases.

"We're greatly saddened and feel very sorry," Mária Levyová, the president of the Slovak Nurses and Midwives Chamber (SKSPA) told TASR. She stated that nurses believed in the victory of common sense and the rule of law and added she believes many laws could be struck down in this way due to a lack of financial resources.

A newly-formed nurses' union shared the disappointment.

"We consider this to be an attack against democracy and will consider filing a motion with the Constitutional Court over similar laws concerning the salaries of, for instance, judges, police officers or soldiers. We deem this to be discriminatory ... dealing only with one group of employees and, therefore, the [ruling’s] validity should be suspended," stated Viliam Záborský, the head of the nurses and midwives’ union (OZSPA).

"The Health Ministry doesn't have the decision of the Constitutional Court at its disposal yet and it needs to study the verdict first," said Health Ministry spokesperson Zuzana Čižmáriková.

The law granted higher minimum salaries to nurses in April but many health care facilities had found ways to circumvent it, TASR wrote.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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