Nurses whose minimum salaries have not been increased as required by a law effective on
April 1 would succeed if they took the matter to court, said Jana Dubovcová, Slovakia's ombudswoman, after meeting with representatives of the Slovak Chamber of Nurses and Midwives (SKSaPA) on April 25.
Dubovcova said that it is improper that a law is being ignored "right before our eyes" with lack of funds cited as the reason for non-compliance, adding that the issue goes beyond the health-care sector, as ignoring laws in general jeopardises democracy as such.
If the nurses request the ombudswoman's help she will do her best but her activities are conditioned by the fact that the appeal needs to be directed against a public administration body. Dubovcová agreed with SKSaPA’s opinion that the Slovak Constitution's ban against forced labour is being violated.
The nurses are expected to decide whether to ask Dubovcová for help at their congress scheduled to begin in Poprad on April 27.
The chamber's head, Mária Levyová, said after meeting Dubovcová that the nurses will not back down from their legal demands. "We'll insist that the law is observed. We disagree with its abolition, revision or any postponement of the date on which it becomes effective," Levyová said, as quoted by the TASR newswire.
A number of hospitals in Slovakia claim they lack the funding needed to cover the pay increase for nurses and midwives. It has been reported that nurses in some hospitals have been threatened to be sacked unless they sign new addenda to their contracts under disadvantageous terms.
Parliament approved the law on minimum salaries for nurses and midwives in early February, increasing them to between €640 and €928 per month as of April 1, depending on years of experience.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
26. Apr 2012 at 14:00