Health Minister Milan Kujundžić said on Wednesday that the government would find a way to give healthcare workers a 4% pay hike.
Minister Kujundžić asked for understanding from healthcare workers that the government could only set aside so much. Unions said they would not give up on their demands for a bigger wage increase and could not rule out a strike.
Kujundžić said that the unions had negotiated fairly.
"I believe the government will find a way to increase the salaries of healthcare workers by 4% and I hope those workers will understand that currently their salaries cannot go up more," said the minister.
"The current delay is only due to the need to make adjustments in the budget and due to possible demands for a wage increase in other sectors. The government has understanding. We must keep our doctors and nurses who are very much sought-after in Europe," the minister said, adding that the problem would be resolved in the coming weeks.
The leader of the SSZSSH union of healthcare and welfare workers, Stjepan Topolnjak, said that unions would not give up on their demands, noting that he also could not rule out a strike.
Unions in the healthcare sector expect salaries in that sector to go up by 3% in August and by 4% in October.
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