Algarve nurses call for new strike due to dire work conditions
The Portuguese Nurses’ Union (SEP) met with nurses from three Algarve Health Centre Groupings (ACES) yesterday. The meeting concluded with a decision being made to strike on the 22nd and 23rd of August. The main reason, according to the SEP, is “unblocking progressions”.
The union accused the Algarve Health Administration (ARS) of “wrongly accounting for progression points, which is harming nurses’ careers by pushing them one or even two positions down the pay ladder’.
Moreover, they condemned the regional authority for “losing the performance evaluations of several nurses, which they never assumed responsibility for”. According the to the nurses’ union, “the Algarve Health Administration haven’t responded to over 100 written complaints, and they have impeded justice, ignored the nurses’ careers and put forward information that contradicts what has been previously conveyed by its own human resources department”.
The union goes even further in criticism and says that Algarve administration “has no respect for years of service, placing nurses with 15 or more years of service at the remuneration level of recent graduates”.
The nurses are currently demanding “the correct counting and assignment of points for a just progression along the pay ladder, as well as the revision of the staff rota maps for around 150 nurses, with proper protocol taken in to account”.
The professionals also ask for “the overdue payment of more than 1000 hours’ worth of work, which comes to over 10 thousand euros from overtime work done by Algarve nurses, that has accumulated since 2016”.
In short, they want “an urgent solution for the units to place nurses acting as heads of unit commissions to be placed in the “specialist” category, to end the 40-hour weekly imposition, and to be repaid for the unpaid overtime work financial incentives promised in many Family Health Units.”
According to Nuno Manjua, a nurse and spokesman for the SEP Faro Regional Directorate, “it is incomprehensible that the governing council of the Algarve Health Administration, appointed by the same government that unfroze the progressions previously, is now behind the return of the weekly hours imposition and the non-payment of nurses, acting as a blocking force to what had already been achieved by nurses in the past.”