Nurses Ready to Reach Compromise, Await Talks

Head of the nurses and midwives trade union Monika Kavecka (right) and president of the chamber of nurses and midwives Iveta Lazorova.

Bratislava, February 2 (TASR) – The nurses who’ve submitted mass resignations declared their willingness to reach a compromise in order to prevent further damage in the health care sector, TASR learnt from their representatives on Tuesday.

“Mr Minister, we want to make an agreement, and we want to make an agreement with the Government … The nurses are ready to hold talks on a compromise proposal,” said head of the nurses and midwives trade union (OZSaPA) Monika Kavecka.

“The nurses’ trade union continues to hope for an agreement that will be attained after a constructive discussion involving the willingness of both camps to reach a compromise. On behalf of Slovak patients, we’re awaiting a step forward from the Slovak Government,” said Kavecka.

President of the chamber of nurses and midwives (SKSaPA) Iveta Lazorova admitted that such a deal might only concern the approximately 600 nurses who have followed through with their resignations at present, while a different solution would apply to all other nurses.

“We have yet to receive a concrete proposal from the nurses’ representatives. Naturally, if that happens, we’ll be happy to learn more about it. At any rate, the door for talks at the Health Ministry remains open,” said Health Ministry spokesman Peter Bubla.

Such a compromise proposal is now being put forward to the nurses concerned, said Kavecka, who stopped short of saying when it might be tabled in preparation for talks with the ministry.

She was reluctant to discuss its terms with journalists, but admitted that the nurses are ready to settle for a lower salary rise than initially sought. “Salaries aren’t the single most important thing here,” said Kavecka. By contrast, the nurses stick to their requirement concerning a solution to address understaffed hospitals.

Lazorova said that she’s confident that there is enough funding in the sector to accommodate their demands. Both organisations also noted that it is difficult to replace the nurses at the hospitals most affected by the mass resignation drive.

They also warned that more nurses and midwives – specifically 120 in number – are to leave their jobs, specifically at hospitals in Trencin, and in Martin, Dolny Kubin and Trstena (all Zilina region).