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Labour shortage: overloaded and underpaid nurses

Labour shortage: overloaded and underpaid nurses

As we reported before, the labour shortage has become critical in Hungary and hinders economic development. The most affected sectors are public transport and service, tourism and IT. However, the number of skilled nurses and doctors is falling too despite government efforts. This is because they leave the country to work for better wages in Western-Europe. As a result, there are not enough nurses in Hungary, though its population did not stop ageing. This might threaten proper health care service according to Hír Tv. A solution could be the Wage Union initiated by biggest opposition party Jobbik, but the government does not support it.

A fourth job cannot be a solution

According to Hír TV, nurses are remarkably underpaid. Thus, they can only pay their bills, if they have more than one job. However, their tiredness can threaten proper health care service thus, Independent Trade Union of Healthcare Workers prepares for a strike.

Adrianna Soós, president of the trade union stated that

the final straw in this regard was the postponement of their Christmas premium promised before.

Fina Aristic

She cleared that according to their last information government only modified the original date for negotiations about wage increase. But nobody talked about their previously promised year-end money which they did not receive.

However, János Lázár, the Minister of Prime Minister’s Office stated that the salaries of the nurses rose 20pc in the last two years. He added that this is a great achievement from the Hungarian economy and the taxpayers. ‘Of course, this does not mean that we are satisfied with the wages, but the process is not finished’.

Nurses are afraid but desperate

In fact, the trade union admits that the pay rise was good. However, they think that it came too late and the money was too little. Therefore, they expect results until the end of January regarding the negotiations.

If there is no agreement until then, they will go on strike.

‘We have to act more determined. A fourth job cannot be a solution, we have to go on strike.’ – added Soós. In fact, without a second or a third job a nurse gets approximately 150-170 thousand HUF (EUR 480-545). Thus, 

their salary is not enough for a living.

‘I work five or six days a week in two or three places.’ – said a nurse to Hír TV.

She was undecided about the strike because she fears for her job.

The problem of overloaded nurses is evident even for patients. ‘If somebody was in a hospital lately he/she could experience how overloaded the nurses are. In addition, their income is very low’ – said Tamás Csuka. The trade union

demands at least 40-50pc salary increase and they want it as soon as possible.

Labour shortage: the Wage Union might be a solution

According to some economists and the biggest opposition party, Jobbik a solution could be wage union. This aims to

raise Eastern-European wages to Western-European level,

so Eastern-European countries would not become empty because of emigration. As a result, labour shortage would not hinder the economic growth of the countries in the region. Therefore, Jobbik started a European citizen’s initiative and collects signatures to bring the issue to European Commission’s table. However, due political reasons government does not support Jobbik’s wage union initiative.

Source: hirtv.hu, Daily News Hungary

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