Healthcare Professionals Hold Protest Rallies Demanding Better Pay, Better Working Conditions
Hold Protest Rallies Demanding
Better Pay, Better Working Conditions
Sofia, March 21 (BTA) - Several dozens of healthcare professionals held protest rallies in many cities Thursday to demand better pay and better working conditions. Maya Ilieva, spokesperson of the steering committee which organized the rally in Sofia, said that the protest will continue until the demands of the healthcare professionals: nurses, lab workers, midwives, physiotherapists, and others, are met.
Protesters said they are ready to put up a tent camp in front of the building of the Health Ministry until their demands for "fair pay" of their work are met.
Diana Nikolova, head of a trade union association with a hospital in Vidin, Northwestern Bulgaria, said at a rally there that nurses in Vidin draw the lowest wages in the country. Nikolova said the lowest wage for a nurse there is 580 leva, and the highest, 610 leva, before tax.
National Ombudsman Maya Manolova visited the rally in Sofia and said that every effort must be made to keep these specialists in Bulgaria. Manolova said she and representatives of the protesters had a meeting with the Health Minister on Wednesday, where a plan was devised to solve the problems of the healthcare professionals. The Ombudsman said that their work is underestimated, and the pay, a humiliation.
Healthcare professionals demand equal starting wages, amounting to two minimum wages, hourly wages for night work, additional reimbursement for emergency or intensive care, and 1.2 per cent seniority bonus per annum. LY/ZH