Health care employees suspend strike

HEALTH care employees will suspend their strike as of April 21 but continue to threaten a tougher strike as of May 2 if the government ignores their demands.

According to Marián Kollár, leader of the doctors' labor union (LOZ), health care employees will refuse to provide even emergency shifts at night and on weekends if the government does not address their wage demands, the SME daily wrote.

The employees of around 20 hospitals went on strike at the beginning of April demanding higher wages, a halt to the transformation of hospitals into joint stock companies, and increased funding for hospitals.

The representatives of health care employees at Slovakia's eight teaching hospitals managed to achieve their first demand on April 19. Following negotiations with the Association of Teaching Hospitals the Slovak labor union of health care employees achieved a 20 percent wage increase for this year.

Health Minister Rudolf Zajac said that as of May 1 the employees' wages would go up by 10 percent and by another 10 percent as of December 1. Zajac also said that greater emphasis should be put on remuneration of individual employees according to the quality of their work rather than their time served.

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
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