Andrej Babis


Babis Refuses To Negotiate With Health Unions

Andrej Babiš

Prague, Aug 17 (CTK) – Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) is not going to negotiate with the health and social care trade union that went on strike alert in search of a 10-percent pay rise today, he has said, adding that the union’s step amounts to threatening.


The unionists have to turn to hospitals, which employ medical workers, Babis told CTK.


“Hospital directors have told us that they do not want to raise wages across the board. However, in previous negotiations we achieved an increase the sum going to nurses’ wages, which enables to raise them by 10 to 15 percent,” Babis said on behalf of the cabinet.


He said he and Health Minister Adam Vojtech (for ANO) negotiated with the union for several months earlier this year and succeeded in attaining the conditions with which the union should be satisfied, instead of threatening and staging press conferences,” Babis said.


He said wages in the healthcare sector rose by more than 30 percent in the past four years and their growth will continue next year.


“A record 320 billion crowns will go to the Czech healthcare sector [in 2019], which is 20 billion more than this year, and 13 of the 20 billion will go to hospitals alone,” Babis said.


The trade union of health and social care workers says the cabinet previously promised it a 10-percent across-the-board pay increase as of 2019 and it wants the promise to come true.


The union chairwoman Dagmar Zitnikova said today the union is also going to call on hospital staffers to start strictly observe the overtime work limits set by the Labour Code.


Like Babis, Health Minister Vojtech disagrees with the union’s strike alert measure. He, too, argued that wages in the health sectors rose considerably in the past few years.