Portugal: New nurses’ protests may be that they miss work or stop doing overtime

Lisbon – Nurses prepare new forms of struggle and protest to respond to civil requests, which may be due to lack of work, failure to work overtime or not performing surgeries to retrieve waiting lists.

Lúcia Leite, president of the Portuguese Nurses’ Trade Union Association, told Lusa that nurses feel “attacked on their rights as workers” and warned of the risk of new “more uncontrollable” forms of struggle, although not supported by unions.

In the social networks there are several nurses to suggest to give unjustified absences to the work to the legal limit and Lúcia Leite admits that the professionals are able to organize in this sense, remembering that the Labor Code foresees that any worker can miss five consecutive days or ten interpolated.

The president of the Trade Union Association said that if nurses organized to collect funds they would also have the capacity to organize for such a movement.

The Surgical Strike Movement, which has organized the collection of funds for the two shutdowns in operating rooms, has also admitted to moving forward with other forms of protest, which may result in abandonment of service or strikes of zeal.

In a Facebook message after the announcement of the civil request, this Movement called for nurses to stop performing additional surgeries to retrieve waiting lists, non-mandatory operations, paid separately and made outside of normal hours.

These additional surgeries were created to recover surgical waiting lists, being voluntary adherence by the professionals, who receive surgery for more than the due date and perform operations outside their normal working hours. Also the hospitals receive for this additional production.

In the Facebook message, the nurses’ movement reacted to the civil requisition decreed by the government asking the nurses to “stop being the good guys of the SNS”.

In addition to the call for surgeries not to be done in additional production, the Movement admits to moving forward with other forms of protest, not putting aside strikes of zeal or abandonment of service, as told Lusa agency Catarina Barbosa, representative of the Greve Surgurg Movement.

“We regret that it is easier for the government to resort to a civil requisition than to sit down to negotiate with the nursing unions! Of course we will comply with the tax, because we, nurses, respect the law. We call on nurses to enforce their rights at the national level, let alone let us be the good ones of the SNS, “says the message of the Surgical Strike Movement, which triggered strikes in operative blocks and led to the collection of funds made through the Internet to fund the strikers.

Those responsible for the movement remind colleagues that performing surgeries on an additional production basis “depends on each one.”

“Do not forget the power they have at hand,” say nurses to their colleagues.