Unions representing workers in the health care sector are set to continue negotiations on a salary rise with Health Minister Milan Kujundžić on Tuesday.
Unions are seeking a wage increase of three percent for working conditions and four percent for life and health responsibility for all workers in the healthcare sector working in diagnostics and treatment, which could cost the government around four-hundred-million kuna per year.
Union leader Stjepan Tolopnjak said the option to strike, which could come as early as September 15th, would become a real possibility if the government were to attempt to delay the proposed salary increases.
"If the government attempts to postpone the implementation of the collective bargaining agreement until January 1st next year, we would no longer be satisfied with a three percent raise, but instead we'd have to insist on six percent," said Tolopnjak. "If we sense on day-one that the government is having doubts, we will be forced to implement our rights, including the option to strike," he concluded.
Anica Prašnjak, a union representative for nurses, said she expected a positive result from tomorrow's negotiations with the government.
For his part, Health Minister Milan Kujundžić announced that he would ask unions to be patient so that the Finance Ministry could make the appropriate calculations and for the government to come to an agreement. He said he was confident the government would make a decision on a wage increase within the next few weeks.
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