Talks between health care unions and the government on salary increases will continue on Friday.
Unions are dissatisfied and their leader Anica Prašnjak has announced a strike.
Minister of Health Milan Kujundžić believes everything will be resolved by October 31st, when the extended collective agreement expires.
“This is actually nothing, it's actually just a time-out and I think everything will be ok. I think that in the end Croatian doctors, nurses and other health care workers should receive higher salaries if we want to keep them in Croatia,” said Kujundžić.
A new negotiating committee must be formally appointed at a government cabinet session.
Finance Minister Zdravko Marić responded to reporters who asked him how much the government is prepared to offer health care workers, only noting that talks will continue.
Unions are dissatisfied and remain firm in their demands. They are demanding a salary increase of 7% which was agreed to during the last time collective negotiations were held. They have announced a strike.
“With this we are telling citizens to expect bigger waiting lists and more, if we are not supported and if the health care system is not recognized as one of the most important, and at this moment, one of the most neglected systems” said the President of the Croatian Nurses Union Anica Prašnjak.
“If we only act according to what the law allows us, we can create chaos in the health care system. We are not insisting on this, we are not trying to do this immediately, we will wait for the stance of the Croatian government. But if the government continues to be untrustworthy, as it has been until now in negotiations, we will have no other choice than to do what I talked about,” said The head of the Croatian Union for Health and Social Welfare Stjepan Topolnjak.
Unions have said that they will take part in negotiations until September 15th, and there will be no union actions until then.
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