Nurses and midwives staged warning strike in Warsaw

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Protesting nurses and midwives booed off former health ministerTVN24
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TVN24Protesting nurses and midwives booed off former health minister

Nurses and midwives from Masovian hospitals organised a warning strike in downtown Warsaw. They were met there by the Voivode of Masovian province and former health minister Konstanty Radziwiłł, who said that Poland's conservative government had raised wages in health care in "an absolutely unprecedented way". For his speech he received boos and jeers, and was called "a liar".

Nurses and midwives from nearly 40 hospitals across Poland began a warning strike on Monday. They wanted to protest against the so-called "Niedzielski law" (named after current Health Minister Adam Niedzielski), regulating the lowest basic remuneration of some employees of medical facilities. According to the protesters, the law "does not guarantee stable increase of basic wages of nurses and midwives, despite numerous signals from our union regarding glaring worsening of working conditions and pay, long-lasting stress, exhaustion and burn-out".

Dozens gathered in front of the Central Clinical Hospital of the Ministry of the Interior and Administration, and the Central Clinical Hospital of the Medical University of Warsaw. "Polish nurses and midwives have had it!" - the protesters chanted.

The protesters gathered also at the Bankowy Square in downtown Warsaw, wanting to meet the Voivode of Masovian province and former health minister Konstanty Radziwiłł. "They say minister Niedzielski prepared a legislation which is contrary to to the interest of nurses and midwives. (...) The protesters say it's simply unfair" - said TVN24 reporter Małgorzata Telmińska.

Former health minister Konstanty Radziwiłł addressing protesting nursesMateusz Marek, PAP

Konstanty Radziwiłł went out to meet with the protesters and said: "The six years of the United Right government were a time during which wages in health care, especially of nurses and midwives, were increased in "an absolutely unprecedented way". He added that the government had managed to deliver unrealistic promises made by Civic Platform in 2015.

He reminded that in 2017, a law on minimal wages in health care was adopted. "I'm going to mention immodestly that I'm its author" - Radziwiłł said. "That moment launched another stage of compensating for the injustice done in the past. I can assure you that this process will continue. We shall continue securing decent wages in health care, especially for nurses and midwives" - he added.

In response, the protesters started shouting "liar, liar". There were some boos and jeers. The voivode refused to listen to what a protest organiser had to say and returned to the building.


Źródło: TVN24 News in English,

Źródło zdjęcia głównego: Mateusz Marek, PAP