High exposure in the corona crisis: University clinic employees go on warning strike

High stress in the corona crisis
University clinic employees go on warning strike

The corona pandemic leads to an increased workload in the health sector. Now, of all times, employees of some university hospitals are going on a warning strike. The Essen Clinic expects “considerable restrictions in patient care” as a result.

In the midst of the worsening corona situation, employees of university clinics have gone on warning strikes in several federal states. Employees in North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria, Saxony, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Schleswig-Holstein took part in the campaigns in the context of the collective bargaining conflict in the public sector. With the measure, the Verdi union wants to put pressure on employers in the current collective bargaining round.

In North Rhine-Westphalia, the six large university hospitals in Aachen, Bonn, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Essen and Münster took part in the warning strike. A spokesman for the clinic in Essen expected “significant restrictions in patient care”. However, with emergency service agreements, Verdi and the clinics had agreed that the basic services would not be jeopardized.

Because of the worrying situation, especially in the intensive care units, which also care for numerous Covid-19 patients, the head of the Essen University Hospital, Jochen Werner, sharply criticized the timing of the warning strikes. In Leipzig, among other things, the employees of the corona and children’s wards were excluded from the warning strike call.

The left, however, expressed understanding for the warning strikes. “Since the beginning of the Corona crisis, the workload in the health sector has increased again and at the same time the cost of living is rising. A noticeable wage increase is more than appropriate,” said co-party leader Janine Wissler. Without more wages, the nursing emergency will never end. That is why the left is in favor of the labor dispute.

Since October 8th, Verdi and several other unions have been negotiating with the collective bargaining association of German states (TdL). They demand five percent more salary for employees in the public service of the federal states, but at least 150 euros per month. In addition, trainees and interns are to receive 100 euros more per month. The TdL has so far rejected the demands as unrealistic. Negotiations are to take place at the end of November. Until then, further warning strikes in the public service are to be expected nationwide.

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