After presenting a list of common demands at the end of September and there being no response from the Ministry of Health, the seven nurses’ unions active in the country promise to toughen the fight for the enhancement of the nursing career in the National Health Service and now – to contrary to what happened in the “surgical strikes” that marked the end of 2018 and beginning of 2019 – together. In a meeting yesterday at the end of the day, which was still taking place at the closing time of this edition, the unions were finalizing the contours of a “tough” protest and for the first time in recent history with the union of all unions, he told the i Gorete Pimentel, from the Independent Union of All Nurses United (SITEU), one of the most recent union structures for nurses, created in 2020 as an independent union. In 2018, this union was even outlined, but it did not go forward, with the older unions demarcating themselves from the surgical strikes that began by being mobilized on social networks. During the early hours of Tuesday, when the meeting ended, the seven unions left the promise of a strike in the first week of November and a demonstration to take place in São Bento on the 28th.
“Nurses cannot continue to be ignored”, underlined the union leader and nurse at the Hospital de Braga, regretting that on October 7, when they organized a protest in front of the Ministry of Health, the minister of tutelage was seen to leave from the place “15 minutes before”, without receiving the nurses.
In the document delivered to the Government on September 21, there were six demands from the unions, namely the immediate integration into the staff of the institutions of all nurses with precarious contracts, safe staffing in services with autonomy of hospitals and health centers to hire, the opening competitions for career advancement and counting of points as in Madeira and the immediate opening of career negotiations, which correct inequalities between the two hiring systems in the NHS (contracts in public functions and individual employment contracts). Old claims to which are added the demand for recognition of the hardship of the profession, namely the right to early retirement, an old class struggle.
BE moves forward with bill For now this Tuesday, at 11am, there is a concentration in front of the Ministry of Health organized by the Union of Portuguese Nurses, linked to the CGTP.
The dissatisfaction of professionals in the NHS is one of the themes that promises to heat up the negotiations on the State Budget to the left. This Monday, upon the presentation of the OE proposal, the Left Bloc filed a bill in Parliament for changing the nursing career, putting forward a legislative proposal to change the framework for career progression and proposing also the creation of a Risk and Pain Statute and the conversion of precarious contracts into definitive contracts. “A nurse in the base category needs a hundred years of work to reach the top of his career. It is manifestly impossible, and it seems that they are making fun of the nurses’ faces”, said the Blocist deputy Moisés Ferreira.
The party invokes the change made by the Government in 2019, when the category of specialist nurse was created, to consider that this new instrument aggravated the injustices, namely by establishing that in each service there could not be more than 25% of specialist nurses. “In other words, although a multi-category career is expected, progression to other categories is strongly conditioned”, it reads.
More rest days for older nurses BE proposes that the number of jobs in services and establishments for specialists be made according to the needs of each location and never be less than 35% and also intends to force career negotiations between the tutelage and unions, giving a period of 90 days to assess the current remuneration conditions. The party does not come forward with concrete proposals in terms of retirement, but defends that all nurses have the right to a risky and painful statute, which provides for a salary supplement in these cases, mechanisms for faster progression and increased rest days for years of Work. Portugal has about 70 thousand nurses registered with the Order, 49 520 working in the NHS.