Nurses’ protest ends in front of parliament

A two-and-a-half hour protest gathering of about 300 nurses and midwives ended in front of parliament in Bratislava on Tuesday, July 24.

A two-and-a-half hour protest gathering of about 300 nurses and midwives ended in front of parliament in Bratislava on Tuesday, July 24.

Participants from all over Slovakia will next meet in September, in front of the Constitutional Court in Košice. Before the gathering ended Viliam Záborský, chairman of the Trade Union of Nurses and Midwives, informed protesters of the outcome of a meeting he had attended with parliament’s health committee. "The committee heard me out and adopted a resolution. It says that the committee will ask Speaker of Parliament Pavol Paška for cooperation with the proceedings of the Constitutional Court," Záborský said, adding that the parliamentary committee also announced that it supports the justified wage demands of health-care employees. He further said that committee members emphasised that health-care professionals have to be appropriately remunerated, but the resolution did not mention nurses specifically.

During the protest Mária Levyová, president of the Slovak Chamber of Nurses and Midwives, attended a meeting with Health Minister Zuzana Zvolenská, Speaker of Parliament Pavol Paška and chairman of the parliamentary health committee, Richard Raši. "The subject of the meeting was not a solution to all our problems. We asked the speaker of parliament for permission to be included when the law on minimum-wage entitlements is returned to parliament, to act as expert consultants," Levyová said. Nurses also wanted to know if there if there is a crisis plan in the event that the Constitutional Court takes a long time to issue a ruling on the contested law on their minimum wages. The nurses do not trust guarantees by their employers that they will keep wages at increased levels. "We had a law and we want it back, and we will insist on it," Levyová said, as quoted by the SITA newswire.

According to Levyová, nurses will ask the Constitutional Court to decide quickly and justly. "We are still to meet in front of the Constitutional Court," she said, adding – according to the TASR newswire – that under present circumstances, in which doctors got their salaries increased while the law on nurses’ salaries was suspended, nurses are de-motivated and the overall atmosphere in health care is tense.

Sources: SITA, TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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