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Health Minister Backs Down After Torrevieja Hospital Strike Threat

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Torrevieja Hospital Strike

After initially stating that the previously agreed working conditions for Torrevieja hospital staff would be annulled, and the inevitable threat of strike action, the Minister of Health, Mariano Gómez, has now said that his regional government will respect the agreement reached by the workers with the previous administration, to reduce the annual hours of the department’s health workers and increase salaries, especially with regard to on-call hours, and bring these figures closer to those of statutory staff.

The agreement comes after a meeting of more than an hour with union representatives, who had been asking for this agreement to be respected for weeks. These improvements, as agreed with the previous government following industrial action after the hospital was brought into disastrous public management, extended until 2027, with a series of annual additions.

However, the agreement now reached focuses only on what was agreed for 2023 and 2024, with the minister’s commitment that, during the legislature, a law will be developed “that equalises the legal regimes of public health workers”, to put an end to the differences between statutory personnel and labour personnel, which are governed by different agreements.

The announcement of the points of agreement reached was made by the committee itself, after the councillor limited himself to only pointing out, at the insistence of journalists, that “it had been a satisfactory agreement for both parties.” Fran García, spokesperson for the works committee, explained that “a progressive reduction in the annual working day was agreed and the on-call hours of doctors and nursing staff were equalised. “That remains the same. Also, for 2024, Temporary Disabilities will be supplemented so that they are paid at 100%.”

This agreement deactivates the protests that the workers had started a few weeks ago due to the Ministry’s refusal to apply this agreement, after at the beginning of the year the PP, which now governs, participated in the protests that led to this agreement but once they arrived at the Government they refused to apply based on a negative report from the Legal Profession due to the lack of budget to face these measures.

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