Clalit Health Services plans ‘warning strike’ for Sunday

Clalit Health Services’ 14 hospitals and hundreds of the largest health fund’s community clinics around the country will be hit Sunday by an all-day “warning strike.”

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November 2, 2017 17:25
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Histadrut protest [File]. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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The Histadrut labor federation said on Thursday that “the current situation today endangers the workers and the patients.”

“We have reached the red line,” declared Prosper Ben Hamo, chairman of the Clalit workers’ committee. After seriously considering the serious circumstances that exist, it is clear that the continuation of normal routine in Clalit institutions is not only impossible; it is simply irresponsible.”

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On Sunday, the health fund’s employees will hold a one-day warning strike during which clinics will be closed throughout the country. In addition, hospitals belonging to Clalit will operate in on emergency-only schedule, treating only urgent cases. All the sectors that work in the health fund – excluding physicians and nurses – will participate in the warning strike, including administrative, maintenance, paramedical workers and others.

The main reason for the declared labor dispute, the union said, is the lack of personnel, which causes systematic and prolonged harm to overworked Clalit employees while increasing reduction in staff and creating unnecessary risks for service providers and patients.

The employees’ representatives complain that, among other things, there is no proper allocation of resources reflecting the growth in the number of health fund members, the volume of activity and the fact that management refuses to replace employees who have retired.

In addition to the “non-implementation” of the agreements regarding manpower slots, the union said the conflict results from the employment of part-time employees and the outsourcing of services, as well as the hiring of contract workers and external consultants instead of Clalit employees.

In addition, the union said it is protesting inadequate payment for lab workers, changing employees’ jobs without agreement by the union and the workers, and the refusal to raise the salaries of hospital pharmacists and administrative managers in the district clinics.

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During the one-day strike, the Clalit employees will hold workers’ assemblies and prepare organizational steps for possible larger-scale work action, from disruptions in certain facilities to a full-scale strike in all Clalit institutions.

Ben Hamo concluded: “Clalit employees are collapsing from overwork, and there is already a real risk of harm to staff and patients. Over many months, we worked hard to promote a dialogue with Clalit’s senior management. We showed patience. We call on them to take action and prevent a major crisis.”

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