Health Fund Gives Pay Raise Estimates Ahead of Strike
The Health Insurance Fund decided today that wages can rise next year by 3 percent for doctors and 6 percent for nurses and caregivers.
Strikers, who have demanded 20 and 40 percent, respectively, were not thrilled.
“It doesn't even cover inflation,” Iivi Luik, head of the health care workers trade union, told uudised.err.ee.
But the Minister of Social Affairs Hanno Pevkur, who chairs the Health Insurance Fund, said the lowering of the unemployment insurance tax by 1.2 percent next year also deserves being noted.
"The de facto pay raise will be more than 7 percent for nurses and more than 4 percent for doctors,” said Pevkur.
On Friday, the board did not discuss a demand for more nurses at family doctor centers. The issue is central to whether family doctors will join the strike. The board expressed optimism that it would find a solution for the issue, though, and said it would discuss it next week.
Meanwhile, the nurses union hasn't joined the strike but said Thursday that it formed an “action committee” that will begin organizing activities in support of pay raises.
The strike, organized by the doctors' and health care workers' trade unions, begins on October 1. Officials have said that thousands of appointments will be cancelled or delayed in the first week of the strike alone, in which the largest hospitals in Tallinn and Tartu are participating. Emergency care will not be directly affected.