Magnitogorsk ambulance workers threatening authorities with strike

As authorities trying to cut their benefits.

Confrontation between authorities and ambulance station workers is taking place in Magnitogorsk. Medics are defending their rights for receving benefits for working after hours, but looks like Russian state continues it’s course on cutting its social obligations.

Looking at numbers, longevity pay was cut from 80 to 15%, extra pay for night shifts – from 100 to 20%! Moreover, after small increase in 4,3%, real size of salary was cut again – from 30 to 23 thousand roubles (about 358 USD). Ambulance workers responded with petition to administration to return their money, to no avail. So medics choose to take a more decisive step, threatening with strike. They also wrote an open message to fellow city dwellers, where they’ve decribed a situation and asked for a public support.

This move worked, and vice governor Irina Geht took the situation under personal control. At 11th November, joint conference took place. But the position of government official was quiet controversial.

“We thorougly analized your claim of cutting down the wages – it is false, they were preserved. And if director of a hospital cannot explain to his subordinates new system of financial stimuli, it raises the question of his professional abilities”.

So, according to official, director’s only fault was inability to announce cuts and deterioration of working conditions as a fait accompli and enforce it without disturbing people on a higher levels of hierarchy. Nevertheless, Mrs Geht told that benefits will be returned, but only in half of a previous amount, from 20 to 50%, but that still means that workers will be ripped of by half of their benefits.

How far will medics go in their righteous struggle is depends on their organization and determination, as well as solidarity of their patients – people of Magnitogorsk, which health is put at risk by denying a decent living from people that will come to save them first.

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