Warning strikes at the Helios clinics

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Strike: Doctors and staff at Helios clinics stop work

Around 160 doctors from the Helios Clinic in Berlin-Buch stopped working on Monday for a good two and a half hours. With the strike, the doctors wanted to emphasize their demands for a five percent increase in wages and better pay for Saturday work, night work and overtime.

The Marburger Bund had called on the doctors of the Helios clinics to go on a warning strike in order to speed up the long-awaited conclusion of a new collective agreement with better wage conditions. As part of the nationwide warning strike at private Helios clinics, 160 doctors at Helios Clinic Berlin-Buch stopped working for more than two hours on Monday. Part of the scheduled operations had to be postponed, but medical care for the patients was guaranteed at all times on the basis of an emergency service agreement with the striking doctors, reports the spokeswoman for the Berlin Helios Clinic, Natalie Erdmann.

Doctors criticize excessive economic pressure With their warning strike, the approximately 160 doctors at Helios-Klinik Berlin-Buch wanted to strengthen their position in the ongoing wage conflict. Because doctors have been waiting for a new collective agreement for a year. However, the negotiations have always been delayed and have so far not been successfully concluded. In March the doctors terminated the old collective agreement and sent an open letter to Helios-Kliniken's board of directors, Francesco De Meo, of what they considered to be excessive economic pressure. Economic criteria are more important than the medical needs of patients, the relationship between doctor and patient suffers from the cost pressure of the group management, according to the Marburg Federation. Because the management of the Helios clinics was also not ready to make concessions in the direction of the doctors in the context of the collective bargaining dispute, the medical union Marburger Bund saw itself forced to respond to the current strike call.

A total of 1,200 doctors join the warning strike. Around 160 doctors followed the strike call of the medical union at the Helios Clinic Berlin-Buch between 8 a.m. and 10.30 a.m. on Monday morning. However, emergency care for patients was always guaranteed, explained Uwe Scholz from the Berlin State Association of the Marburg Federation. Pediatric surgery, the treatment of cancer patients and the Emil von Behring Clinic in Zehlendorf, which also belongs to the Fresenius Group, were completely excluded from the warning strike, according to Uwe Scholz. Overall, the warning strike at the Helios Clinic in Berlin-Buch ended an hour earlier than initially planned, the representative of the medical union further explained. The Marburger Bund had called on doctors in a total of 63 Helios hospitals and 29 medical care centers across Germany to go on a warning strike, but the medical union did not receive as much support as in the Helios Clinic Berlin-Buch at all locations of the private Helios clinics. For example, in the Helios clinics in Idstein and Bad Schwalbach, only nine of the 25 doctors joined the warning strike. At least 70 doctors in the Helios Clinic in Erfurt followed the strike call of the Marburg Federation. According to the medical union, around 1,200 doctors took part in the warning strike.

Medical union calls for linear salary increase of five percent The medical union Marburger Bund hopes to use the warning strikes to increase the pressure on the management of private Helios clinics in the current wage conflict. The Marburger Bund is calling for the doctors at the Helios clinics belonging to the Fresenius Group to raise their wages linearly by five percent. The medical union also advocates higher pay for night work, Saturday work and overtime. So far, doctors have been paid a surcharge of EUR 1.25 per hour for night services, but doctors demand an additional remuneration of 25 percent of the regular hourly wage. However, the management of the Fresenius Group has so far only promised an increase in wages for medical staff of 1.7 percent in the collective bargaining.

Strike call for nursing and administrative staff But the conflict of tariffs affects not only the doctors but also the other employees of the Helios clinics. This is why the Verdi union has called for a strike in 17 Helios clinics this Wednesday. For the nursing and administrative staff at Helios Clinic Berlin-Buch, a work stoppage is planned on Wednesday between 6.30 a.m. and 8.30 a.m. and in the Emil von Behring Clinic in Zehlendorf from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. With the strike, Verdi also wants to give employees more demands for higher pay, night service surcharges and wages for on-call services - even before the next round of collective bargaining begins on April 18. Overall, the union's demands for the Fresenius Group would result in an increase in personnel costs of around seven percent. (fp)

Also read:
Doctors at Helios clinics on warning strike
Warning strike at the HELIOS clinic
Billing fraud at the Schwerin Helios Clinic?

Picture: Günter Havlena / pixelio.de

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