Doctors call off strike
Slovenian doctors and dentists called off a strike that was supposed to begin on 2 April after receiving in the 11th hour a draft bill laying down the foundations of a new pay system for the public sector.
"This is the first step towards the government delivering on its promise to form a separate healthcare pillar" in the public sector, said Jausz Klim, vice-president of the Fides trade union of doctors and dentists.
Fides had decided to go on strike because under the terms of an agreement that ended a brief doctors' strike in January, a separate healthcare pillar in the public sector pay system was supposed to be in place by the end of March.
The government recently admitted that would not be possible and unilaterally pushed the deadline back to June but has now come up at least with a broader draft bill that separates the public sector into multiple pay pillars, one of which for healthcare.
The STA has learnt from unofficial sources that the draft sees doctors and dentists as heads of healthcare teams who are also in charge of selecting team members, rumours of which have already raised concern among nurses.
The draft will be formally presented to unions tomorrow, whereupon the Fides strike committee will meet once again to discuss whether or not to relaunch the strike.
"The development of talks on the separate pay pillar will be important," said Klim, adding that the union will insist on demands it sent to the government on earlier this week.
The strike announcement caused some controversy in recent days, with the Health Ministry insisting the action would be illegal and would not be paid because strikes in healthcare must be announce ten days in advance.
Fides, on the other hand, insisted that this strike had been announced in September 2022 and then suspended so this would merely have been a continuation.