Nurses call off strike in light of political crisis

Reason for strike “no longer makes sense”

SEP, the syndicate of Portuguese nurses, has called off its strike, scheduled for tomorrow, as it considers the reason – to put pressure on the government – no longer makes sense.

In a statement today, SEP explains that the strike sought to pressure the Ministry of Health into schedule a meeting to “negotiate solutions for the various problems faced by nurses” – from counting of ‘points’ to restoring pay parity between nurses and the senior technical careers in Public Administration.

The Prime Minister’s resignation on Tuesday  “meant that the current government is no longer in a position to govern. In other words, the government is ‘in management mode'”.

These new circumstances, which have already seen the government cancel a number of negotiation meetings scheduled, “have made the strike decreed for November 10 unrealisable”.

SEP adds that nurses’ problems “will become more acute and require solutions”, suggesting that “depending on the new political framework that the President of the Republic decides and announces, the syndicate will readjust its plan for intervention and struggle”.

SEP’s concerns centre on “worsening working conditions, deregulated working hours, excessive working hours, the loss of pay parity, failure to finalise assessment processes and the lack of measures to retain nurses in the State health service”.

The syndicate’s decision hasn’t changed plans for demonstrations on Saturday in Lisbon and Porto, called by the CGTP (confederation of trades unions). SEP has called on all nurses to take part in these demos.

Source: LUSA