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Nurses reject Fico’s offer, continue protest

NURSES will continue in their three-day protest held in front of the Government Office even after meeting with Prime Minister Robert Fico. The premier offered a guarantee of salaries for nurses and midwives working in state-run, regional and municipal hospitals, promising their salaries would stand at the level as proposed by the law recently declared as unconstitutional. The average salary of a nurse is about €500 a month.

NURSES will continue in their three-day protest held in front of the Government Office even after meeting with Prime Minister Robert Fico. The premier offered a guarantee of salaries for nurses and midwives working in state-run, regional and municipal hospitals, promising their salaries would stand at the level as proposed by the law recently declared as unconstitutional. The average salary of a nurse is about €500 a month.

“A quite clear offer to improve the status of nurses in the system was put on the table,” said Health Minister Zuzana Zvolenská, as quoted by the Sme daily, who visited the protesting nurses on October 3.

The minister added that nurses working at private and non-state clinics should address their salary requirements to their employers, Sme wrote.

Yet, Monika Kavecká, head of the Trade Unions of Nurses and Midwives (OZSaPA), said that the solution should address the situation of all nurses.

“We did not expect to reach any [final agreement] ... just explained our demands and wishes,” said Iveta Lazorová, chair of the Slovak Chamber of Nurses and Midwives, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “The only promise given was that of Mr Prime Minister. Namely, that he will attempt to tackle the situation of nurses in the public sector.”

Protesting nurses and midwives also gave the government a declaration with their requirements which have not been published yet, as reported by Sme.

Meanwhile, during the first day of their camp, nurses appealed to members of the government and parliament to join them in their protest. Yet, only a couple of opposition MPs and MEPs from Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) and Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) have come thus far. Representatives of Most-Híd and the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) said they were planning to join them later, TASR wrote.

The protesting nurses intend to stay at the campsite until October 4.

Source: Sme, TASR

For more information about this story please see: Nurses camp out in protest

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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