The president of the Portuguese Association of Private Hospitalization (APHP) considered this Thursday the strike by nurses in the private sector extemporaneous and maintained that the meetings are taking place “with a great opening for negotiation.”
The president of the APHP, Óscar Gaspar, reminded journalists that five rounds of negotiations have already been held since October 2022. According to the official, the meetings have been held with “proposals that have evolved on one side and the other.”
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“Last Tuesday we presented a new proposal and, therefore, with the negotiations open, it seemed to us that this strike was extemporaneous. This calls into question the legitimate rights of the workers (…), but the negotiations are advancing, ”he added.
Óscar Gaspar affirmed that the position of the APHP implies a salary increase of 6%.
“We are talking about 1,145 euros, which could already be applied if we had reached an agreement. Our 6% increase is higher than the medium and long-term agreement negotiated in the social consultation, it is higher than the 5.1% that is being applied in the public service and we understand that it was a reasonable amount. We are talking about at least a 55-euro increase per month for nurses and a six-euro food allowance”, she underlined.
The president of the APHP was still convinced that, “in a very short time”, there will be an agreement between the Union of Nurses of Portugal (SEP) and private hospitals.
Private sector nurses on strike this Thursday for better working conditions
Regarding the complaints of pressure from private institutions on nurses so that they do not exercise their right to strike, Óscar Gaspar assured that he was unaware of this situation.
“I don’t know at all. We, in the association, we didn’t even get a strike notice. Now, the right to strike is absolutely legitimate and respected.. It does not cross my mind that any union, be it this one or another, has difficulty manifesting itself, ”she stressed.
A hundred nurses from the private sector met this Thursday at the CUF Descobertas Hospital, in Lisbon, to demand, among other measures, a 10% salary increase for all professionals.
Nurses from 75 private health units in the country are on strike this Thursday, the first one carried out by these professionals, to demand the improvement of working conditions.
“We want to fight for the dignity of nursing. Right now, we don’t feel worthy. We don’t get a raise and we work more hours than in public. They don’t pay us for ‘quality’ hours,” said nurse Fátima Marras, referring to the so-called painful hours they work, especially at night.
Around 100 nurses from the private sector demanded dignity at work in Lisbon
According to the health professional, who was present at the meeting, if you work one night a month or 30 nights, you earn the same.
“It’s not fair. It’s not fair. If I do it on Christmas night, I earn zero when the country is at home,” he complained, defending appreciation for the profession.
Scheduled for morning and afternoon shifts, this will be the first strike of the nearly 4,200 nurses who work in the 75 health units covered by the Associação Portuguesa de Hospitalização (APHP).
Nurses from these private units demand the implementation of the 35-hour work week and the regulation of the working daya monthly salary increase for those who work in shifts and the payment of the prevention regime.
In addition, they demand an increase in compensation for the so-called “difficult hours” worked at night, weekends and holidays, as well as a 10% salary increase and a food allowance for all nurses and 25 working days of vacation per year. . . .
Before the journalists at the scene, the president of the Union of Nurses of Portugal (SEP), José Carlos Martins, denounced “indescribable pressure” on nurses by private institutions.