Health Unions May Strike For Higher Salaries

Prague, Aug 16 (CTK) – The health and social care trade union will declare the strike alert since the Czech government is not ready to observe its promise and increase the salaries, the trade union has said.


At its Friday press conference, the trade union wants to elaborate on its plans.


The leader of the CMKOS umbrella trade union, Josef Stredula, said it could not be ruled out that other civil service trade unions would follow suit.


The CMKOS is demanding a 10 percent increase for all civil servants, while the government is only proposing a 6 percent rise. It wants to give more to teachers and poorly paid professions.


In government plans, the health care personnel is only to receive 4-5 percent more.


The health trade union says Prime Minister Andrej Babis promised a 10 percent rise to it in early May.


Babis then said he had supported the pay rise, but did not promise it.


Babis said employers, which meant the management of the health facilities, should decide on the pay rise.


The CMKOS is the biggest trade union centre, associating 29 branches, 13 of which are in the civil service.


Babis said earlier this week he mainly wanted to discuss the pay rise in the civil service in the government and the coalition (of his ANO and the Social Democrats) within the debate on the budget by of the end of September when the government must submit its budget bill to the Chamber of Deputies.


According to the data of the Institute of Health Information and Statistics, the health sector employed over 260,000 people by the end of last year. There were 80,000 nurses, 18,000 emergency staff and about 40,000 doctors.


In all, there were over 45,000 blue-collar workers and technical personnel in the health care.


In 2017, the average gross salary of nurses was 36,000 crowns a month in state-run facilities, but 24,200 in non-state facilities.


Czech hospitals are short of around 3000 nurses.


Social services employ around 100,000 people who have the average salary of 28,600 crowns a month, 13 percent more than a year ago.


In the civil service in general, there were over 634,700 people, with the average salary of 31,968 crowns.


The business sphere is against the overall 10 percent in the civil servants’ pay, arguing that it did not correspond with the expected growth in the state revenues and that the salaries should be increased according to performance.