The Portuguese Nurses Union (SEP) today placed 168 balloons at the entrance of Braga Hospital, in protest against the alleged “exploitation” of the equal number of professionals working there.
Nelson Pinto, director of SEP, explained to Lusa that there are 168 nurses involved who are receiving 1,060 euros instead of the 1,201 “provided for by law”.
“They are nurses who were already at the hospital at the time of PPP [parceria público-privada] . Hospital management passed to the public sphere 11 months ago, but those nurses continue to receive the same salary. Those who entered again immediately started earning more than them, it is an unacceptable situation ”, he said.
According to Nelson Pinto, the board of directors, in a meeting held today, “blamed” the ministries of Health and Finance for maintaining that “injustice”.
“The hospital says it did everything to regularize the situation and passed the ball over to the guardianship. However, nurses continue to be harmed ”, he criticized.
Contacted by Lusa, the hospital’s board of directors said that “everything has been done” for the resolution of the processes of adherence to collective bargaining agreements (ACT), namely in the salary updates and standardization of the weekly workload, which are ongoing .
“The board of directors will always assume its commitments in the exercise of its functions, remaining committed to the resolution of all issues involving the workers of this hospital”, he adds.
On September 1, 2019, the management of Hospital de Braga passed to the public sphere, after 10 years in the hands of the Mello Saúde Group, under a PPP.
The SEP guarantees that, in the period prior to the transition, it alerted the administration and the Ministry of Health to the requirement that, in September, the process of adhering to the collective labor regulation instruments be carried out, to ensure that the nurses hired by the date Grupo Mello with a salary of 1,060 euros went to 1,201.
“The truth is that 11 months have passed and nothing,” said Nelson Pinto.
The hospital counters that “it assumed, from the first moment, in a position of total dedication and transparency, the matter related to the process of adhering to the collective labor agreements (ACT) of its workers as a professional matter of unquestionable relevance”.
The union says it “has already knocked on all doors”, including that of the President of the Republic, but guarantees that “it will not let its guard down” until the matter is resolved.
The SEP also denounced that there are nurses at the Hospital de Braga performing “illegal hours” of 12 and a half consecutive hours.
The hospital says that the professionals who comply with these schedules do so “of their own free will”, with some even signing a declaration giving account of that.