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Update: Health system administrative staff threatens with protests, general strike postponed
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Update: Thousands Sanitas trade unionists protest in front of Gov’t offices

About 10,000 thousand Sanitas trade unionists have gathered on Thursday, in Victoriei Square, in front of the Government offices, to protests against the revenue decrease in the health system.

The rally organised by Sanitas was expected to gather some 10,000 protesters. The health system employees say they will take to the streets on May 11 in general strike, unhappy with the falling earnings. Police have imposed traffic restrictions in the area.

The protesters blew vuvuzelas, whistles and displayed banners with messages like “Health, priority?!”, “General strike”, “Eliminate inequities”, “Justice for the administrative staff” and “You have no honour, you have searched our pockets”.

A delegation of four Sanitas trade unionists, led by Leonard Bărăscu, President of the Sanitas Federation, had talks at the Government offices Deputy Prime Minister Viorel Ştefan.

“The calendar of protests does not change,” the Sanitas leader said after talks. New discussions will take place on May 2.

Labour Minister, Lia Olguţa Vasilescu, in the context of the Sanitas protests in front of Victoria Palace, conveyed that no solution could be reached with the trade unions regarding the cash bonuses regulation, and if it was had not been assumed by the Government, without the annex 10, the cash bonuses could not be paid in April.

On the other hand, the Sanitas leader explained the unionists’ discontent.

“The decrease in earnings is huge. Some reach RON 500 up to RON 1,100. When we requested that the law is rewritten, this wasn’t done. We request wage rises for all our colleagues in the health system. It’s a pity we have reached the stage to say that it would have been better to say no to wage increases. It’s complex and total chaos,” Sanitas trade union leader, Leonard Barascu, said at the time the protests were decided.

The trade unions in the health system announced last week the triggering of the general strike, following the Government’s failure to come up with any solution for the employees who have earned less money after the enforcement of the wage law and the enforcement of the regulation on cash bonuses. Thus, on April 26, a rally will be organised in Bucharest with over 10,000 people expected, a warning strike will take place on May 7 and the general strike will be triggered on May 11.

Sanitas Federation First Vice-president, Iulian Pope, told hotnews.ro that the employees are dissatisfied with the new wage law and the new regulation on cash bonuses and “very many wages have decreased.” Pope claims only 15% of the health system employees have collected higher earnings, the rest of them collecting insignificant raises, registering decreases or having the same earnings.

According to hotnews.ro, some health system employees in the same hospital collected higher earnings by hundreds or thousands of RON, whereas others collected lower earnings by RON 3,000.

Numerous protests were held in the past weeks in the hospitals throughout the country, as many health system employees claim they’ve collected reduced earnings by up to RON 1,700.

Health Minister, Sorina Pintea, admitted that about 10% of the health employees have collected reduced earnings, but claimed the hospital managers should decide on the ways to compensate and correct the reduced wages.

The negotiations between the health system trade unions and the Government have failed to reach a solution.

About Valeriu Lazar