Gov't, paramedics, employers seal accord
The health ministry, paramedics and their employers have signed a tri-lateral agreement ending a series of paramedic protests for better pay and working conditions, Poland's health minister informed on Wednesday.
Adam Niedzielski said after the signing that the talks had taken place "in an atmosphere of deep responsibility," with all sides determined to resolve the situation. He added that they concerned not only finances but also changes in the medical rescue system.
"For many hours, I believe seven, we talked about the various postulates forwarded by paramedics and employers in rescue stations... I am pleased to say that we have signed an agreement," Niedzielski said.
He added that the agreement was good news in view of the approaching fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, as it ensured there will be no shortages of paramedics when infection figures begin to rise.
Deputy Health Minister Waldemar Kraska, who negotiated the agreement on the government side, said one of the changes it introduced was the reinstatement of a 30-percent bonus for outside calls, which was abolished in 2011.
The agreement also sets the minimum hourly wage for paramedics at PLN 40 (EUR 8.7), Kraska said.
Paramedic representative Piotr Dymon said the agreement put an end to the current protests but added that its execution will be closely monitored.