KHMU Info No. 8(August 19, 2019)
Fifty branch sites of the KHMU applied for collective medication of labor disputes, showing the workers’ commitment and passion.
The three major issues are about a higher staffing level, regularization of irregular working positions, and a 6% increase in wage.
The workers’ negotiation atmosphere is heating up. On 13th, the Korean Health and Medical Workers’ Union (KHMU, President Na Soon-ja) forewarned of strike after submitting the collective mediation application to the National Labor Relations Commission, which was written to ask for resolution of issues on the 2019 collective wage negotiations on behalf of 50 branch sites (20,000 union members).
The list of 50 sites that applied for the mediations include 2 public hospitals for special purposes, 20 regional medical centers, 14 small and medium sized private hospitals and 14 private university hospitals.
This year, the number of sites participating in mediation applications has decreased from last year but the negotiation timing is 20 days earlier than the past two years. In case of 2017, a total of 73 sites applied for mediations while 100 sites in 2018.
With the submission of mediation applications on 13th, medical institutions as public service providers, should cooperate in the adjustment procedures for 15 days (Article 54 of the Act on Trade Union and Labor Relations Adjustment). Even after submitting the application of mediations, the KHMU will continue to actively support each branch in branch-level negotiations and adjustment meetings as part of its utmost endeavor. In case that the management and branch unions fail to reach an agreement, it will organize strike.
The vote for strike will take place on a branch level from August 19 to 23. On August 28 when the adjustment period ends, the KHMU will hold strike-eve event, and on the right following day, an indefinite strike will begin to put an end to the wage negotiations before the Chuseok Holiday starts.
The KHMU called on hospital managements to show their commitment to increasing a staffing level, regularizing irregular working positions and reducing working hours, so as to increase a wage to an adequate level, improve public health, and ensure patients’ safety and quality medical services. In addition, the national medical workers union demanded the government should come up with practical support plans for decent jobs and guide the national university hospitals to directly hire employees for the working positions, which have been sourced indirectly up to now.
Those irregular workers indirectly employed by the Pusan National University Hospital and the Chonnam National University Hospital warned of an all-out no-time-limit strike beginning on August 22.
Since the applications of mediation turned in, members of each branch have been actively promoting their demands and engaging other workers by fully using the morning commute hours and lunch breaks.