NEWS IN SHORT

Nurses put forward their demands

THE SLOVAK Chamber of Nurses and Midwives, along with the Nurse and Midwife Labour Union, has formulated eight demands and set up a deadline for each to be fulfilled. If these demands are not met, nurses may consider resigning en masse. Among their demands, nurses and other health-care personnel are seeking higher salaries and an end to social uncertainties like long hours and low pensions, the TASR newswire reported.

THE SLOVAK Chamber of Nurses and Midwives, along with the Nurse and Midwife Labour Union, has formulated eight demands and set up a deadline for each to be fulfilled. If these demands are not met, nurses may consider resigning en masse. Among their demands, nurses and other health-care personnel are seeking higher salaries and an end to social uncertainties like long hours and low pensions, the TASR newswire reported.

Several demands are to be fulfilled as early as the end of November, among them the legislative ban on dividing contracts, the inspection of personnel rules in health-care facilities, and passing a memorandum that would secure the remuneration of nurses by the time the new law on their salaries is passed, according to TASR.

“We have intensively negotiated with the minister since March without any result, so our demands are not all completely new, they are long-term,” the head of the chamber, Mária Lévyová, said as quoted by TASR.

Nurses also demand the passing of a new law that would replace the Act on Nurse Remuneration, currently blocked by a Constitutional Court verdict, by the end of February 2013.

Nurses did not specify what they were planning to do in the event the government does not meet their demands and the respective deadlines. Lévyová noted that they have not ruled out mass resignations, TASR reported.

“I’ve done everything in my power to meet their lawful demands and I will continue to do so,” said Health Minister Zuzana Zvolenská, as quoted by TASR. “Therefore, once again, I’m calling upon them not to mislead the public with this ‘she’s the minister, she can do anything’ thing.”

She added that her hands are tied when supervising compliance with the law at some hospitals, as not every medical facility falls under the remit of her office.

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