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Global Economy

After 79 days, the end of the strike in university hospitals

There has been no strike at the six university clinics in North Rhine-Westphalia since Wednesday morning. In a ballot, the nursing staff will decide by August 5 whether they agree to the negotiation result. The core of the "collective agreement relief" is a better personnel key, especially for the patient-related employees.

The employers' chief negotiator said he was relieved that the strike was about to end. At 79 days, this strike was the longest in the healthcare sector in North Rhine-Westphalia. The collective bargaining parties had reached an agreement during the night from Monday to Tuesday.

Key points of the key issues paper

The key point of the agreement: more nurses on the infirmaries and checks on every shift to ensure that enough staff are actually being deployed. If this is not the case, there are financial allowances or days off for the carers. This is the most important point that the employers have negotiated with the Verdi services union for the so-called "relief" collective agreement.

For every fall below the personnel quota, those affected receive "burden points" and for every seven points an additional day off to compensate for the burden. In the first year of implementation, up to eleven days off can be accumulated, in the second year 14 and in the third year a maximum of 18.

Compensation also for other professional groups

Minimum staffing levels and equalization of workloads have also been agreed for employee groups outside of nursing. This affects, among other things, employees in radiology, in the company daycare centers and in therapy. Relief rules were also created for trainees, which stipulate minimum standards for practical instruction and the number of teachers, for example. Here, too, there is a load equalization if the limit is not reached.

For the areas of service, IT and technology, the creation of 30 additional full-time positions per university hospital was agreed. "The clinics are given a year and a half to implement and introduce the necessary IT systems," explained Verdi negotiator Heinz Rech. A flat rate of five days off was agreed for the transition.

State government welcomes agreement

The state government welcomes the agreement in the negotiations. Minister of Science Ina Brandes said: "The agreement brings noticeable relief for all patient-related professions at the six university hospitals in North Rhine-Westphalia." The nursing staff and other employees did an excellent job and made an important contribution to strong university medicine.

Labor and Health Minister Karl-Josef Laumann emphasized the importance of the university clinics for medical care in North Rhine-Westphalia – "and above all thanks to the great commitment of many thousands of employees," said Laumann.

NRW has not yet had a "collective agreement relief"

Verdi has been waging a labor dispute with the employees of the university clinics in Aachen, Bonn, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Essen and Münster for many weeks in order to achieve noticeable improvements, especially in chronically understaffed care, but also in other areas of the clinic. In some parts of Germany, there has long been a so-called "collective agreement on discharge" (TV-E), which regulates precise personnel assessments.

In addition to those directly involved in bedside care, it is also about staffing in emergency rooms, outpatient clinics, operating theatres, in patient transport or in anesthesia.


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