Nurses call new two-day strike

Nurses union SEP has called a nationwide two-day strike, starting on Wednesday September 24, with a demonstration planned outside Lisbon’s health ministry on Thursday 25th.
Outlining the reasons behind the decision, union president José Carlos Martins has agreed that strike action could be averted, depending on the results of a meeting with health chiefs on September 17.
“We want nightshift working schedules and weekends returned to the system that we had without the 50% cuts imposed by the troika”, he explained. “We want the hiring of more staff and work timetables to once again run to rules”.
Nurses are currently facing a series of problems, he added – exhaustion and dismotivation being paramount.
What he did not explain clearly is that for work timetables to “run once again to rules”, nurses are demanding a 35-hour week.
As many comments on this story have pointed out. “What IS a 35-hour week? It certainly isn’t anything most people see in their working lifetime”.
Thus, support for the strike is divided very much by politics.
In the Algarve – where nurses came out on strike only a couple of weeks ago – support for a national strike action is certainly expected.
Hospital chief Pedro Nunes told the Resident in August that SEP’s insistence that staffing levels were too low was a political ploy, engineered by the communist party.