After announcing to the press their willingness to strike against decreasing wages, ambulance medics were visited by new minister of Healthcare of Chelyabinsk region Yuri Semenov and even city major Yuri Berdnikov himself.
Officials tried to calm medics down by vague promises and assurances.
It all started after local union agreed upon new collective contract under the premise, that it will not negatively affect people’s salaries.
“We were told that our salary remains the same. Possibility of increase was never even discussed. They said “don’t worry, you will not lose a coin”. But it was a lie”- told medics.
Payments for night shifts decreased significantly from 100 to only 20%. Now they receive only 800 rubles for 50 hours of night shifts instead of 3000-4000, and salary dropped under 25 thousands, even with overtime hours.
Such salary cuts only deepened critical situation in Magnitogorsk ambulance department. In order to provide for their families, many professionals choose to work even more in day-in, day out regime, which heavily affects their performance and personal condition.
“Some of our guys are escorted into hospitals by their own colleagues due to overworking and neglecting personal health conditions out of fear of being fired”. – told one of healthcare workers.
When officials visited ambulance teams, medics attempted to present them with their problems, stating that it is impossible for them to work in such conditions. Newly appointed minister agreed with them, and did nothing to change the situation.
“If you had to go alone on a call and received less than it was promised in a contract – well, we can agree that it sound rough” – admitted Semenov.
City major Berdnikov also tried to convince medics that they “must learn to negotiate”:
“Of course, we have a problem here,-major had to admit that. I am very glad that now we have new and capable minister. I can assure you that we will make new appointments to fix the situations. This is our city and I personally care about well-being of our citizens. I will continue our job to make Magnitogorsk a better place”.
He also suggested that “there is no need to shout, it just needs will to go on and solve this problem”.
Berdnikov also promised to come back to the ambulance station and personally control amount of payments for medics.
“All of city’s public services are equally important to me, and I suppose, that I will start to call you more often in the future”.
Anyway, medics were not convinced by such vague statements of officials. Some of them claim that this problem caused by internal conflicts inside city administration. Whenever it is true or not is now up to a prosecution office, which started to investigate into the situation.
But it will be unwise for medics of Magnitogorsk to put faith into investigation, because outcome of this conflict depends on their collective actions. Now authorities promise to increase night shift payments up to 50% (instead of previous 100%), as officials claim their colleagues in neighbouring Chelyabinsk region receive. But giving into such proposition will be dumb. Once workers will drop their guard, authorities will strike back immediately and bring situation back to worse. Only organised struggle will not only provide with previously agreed conditions, but will allow to make them better. One must never forget – it’s capitalists that need working class, while working class can live without parasites.