The new agreement of the Catalan Institute of Health (ICS) was signed today by the Minister of Health, Manel Balcells, and the representatives of the unions UGT, CCOO, SATSE and Metges de Catalunya, after a meeting to close the details. ICS workers will receive salary and professional increases from February, and will be paid retroactively from November 22. This was announced by the Department in a press release, where it added that the improvements will affect around 55,000 professionals from 289 primary care centers and eight ICS hospitals. The total amount that the Department will allocate to these measures is 320 million euros, almost all of which has increased the Health budget.
The benefits of the new agreement for the different groups
Among the main measures included in the new agreement, the recognition of the professional career for workers who come from other parts of the health system stands out, as well as the extension of the professional career to all employees, both permanent and temporary. In addition, the annual working day of most sectors is reduced from 1,642 to 1,599 hours, which represents a decrease in the annual working day of 43 hours.
A commitment to nursing specialties
The agreement also provides for a boost to nursing specialties, through a remuneration supplement linked to the professional career. In this way, all those with the specialty will receive a salary increase of 1,500 euros per year. However, this improvement has not satisfied all the nurses, as the Catalan Nurses union has been on strike for weeks. Tomorrow Balcells will meet with the union to try to reach an agreement.
The health technicians, pending a proposal
On the other hand, the health technicians are still on strike and regret that the Department has not yet presented them with any improvement proposals. The technicians expect to receive an offer from the ministry with salary and organizational improvements at the end of the week. The workers, who have been on indefinite strike since January 8, warn that they will not call it off if their demands in the agreement of the third agreement of the Catalan Institute of Health (ICS) are not taken into account. In addition, they accuse the ministry of “sabotaging” the strike by increasing the staff of minimum services in the centers.