RIGA - The council of the Latvian Trade Union of Health and Social Care Employees (LVSADA) on Tuesday agreed on organization of a repeated warning strike on September 27-28.
During the strike, a protest meeting will be held across the Cabinet of Ministers building.
LVSADA underscored that after the first warning strike on July 27 and the meeting at the Health Ministry the ministry has not demonstrated a wish to meet the demands of the strike.
LVSADA representative Inga Rudzite said that the organization has been looking for a compromise, softening the initial strike demands since negotiations in 2021.
Now the trade union has only one demand. LVSADA insists that in line with the government's earlier decisions, doctors and functional specialists should receive a minimum wage of at least EUR 1,862, medical and patient care staff, assistants to functional specialists - at least EUR 1,117, and assistants to medical and patient care staff - at least EUR 745 a month.
LVSADA said that one of the most significant problems in Latvian health care sector is shortage of employees, and the main reason for this problem is the low wages. This has been marked also by the European Commission, the Organization for Economic cooperation and Development and the World Bank.
The Health Ministry, however, underscores that over the recent years health care budget has increased significantly - to EUR 1.54 billion in 2022.
Starting from January 1, 2022, the average wage of medics and functional specialists has increased from EUR 1,862 to EUR 1,963, while the average wage of medical and patient care staff has been increased from EUR 1,117 to EUR 1,183.