Sunday, 9 September 2012

Breakthrough for protesting health care workers

Protests of health care workers at Osira Amstelring, one of the largest health care institutions of the Netherlands, have led to a breakthrough, union Abvakabo FNV has announced. An agreement has been reached on improving the quality of care, reducing precarious work and on union rights.
The union wanted to reach such an agreement for all health care workers, but employers choose to sign a collective agreement with a number of smaller unions. A majority of Parliament questioned this: a motion was adopted saying that there was insufficient support for this agreement.
Meanwhile, health care workers have launched actions to convince individual health care institutions to reach agreements taking care of the issues that have not been properly taken care of in the current collective agreement. At a nursing home in Amsterdam, staff went on strike, a first in Dutch history. Employers’ organisation Actiz immediately called it a ‘desperate’ offensive because there would be hardly any support for the actions, but that response now turns out to have been premature.
In addition to workload, right to an 8-hour working day, pay and reducing flex work, the agreement with Osira Amstelring also contains stipulations on union leave, the right of the union to meet with workers and protection of union members.

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