KHMU Info No. 7(released on July 27, 2017)
Centralized bargaining for year 2017 reached a settlement!
Shorter working hours, lower turnover rate and other future actions to create jobs were agreed!
Part of increased wage will be used to increase a staffing level and solve irregular workers’ issues.
The labor and management in the medical and health sector reached a settlement on bargaining at the central level at Green Hospital in Seoul on July 12.
The two parties had a pre-meeting for centralized bargaining on June 14 and have since intensively discussed and negotiated about items on the agenda list four times. Their final agreement was made as follows: 1. Increasing a staffing level 2. Creating more jobs by fully implementing the nursing-caregiving integrated services 3. Creating jobs by shortening working hours 4. Trying to lower turnover rate 5. Observing the medical law 6. No irregular (contract) jobs at hospitals
In addition, the center-level negotiation group adopted a joint petition for more right medical system and improvement of medical institutions, and they decided to turn it in to the government.
The KHMU determined to link the increase in wage to a higher staffing level and regularization of irregular workers, and in the bargaining session, the union agreed to “use some part of increased wage for creating decent jobs, securing manpower and solving irregular workers’ issues” and to conclude detailed items at the actual workplace level.
The labor and management also agreed to set an adequate level of staffing with additional manpower that can fill the vacancy led by the five-day, forty-hour work week system to be soon implemented and workers’ leaves and off days; and secure a certain ratio of additional manpower for vacant positions due to maternity/child care leave.
In addition, the two parties agreed to submit the government the following requests: the government should set up a plan to create additional 500,000 jobs in the healthcare sector; enact a health sector manpower law; develop a fee-for-personnel system; improve the nurse staffing grade system; financially help meet the cost incurred from additional employment to fill up the vacancy led by maternity/child care leave; eliminate the quota system to limit the number of personnel at public hospitals; and set up a tripartite TF team to solve the short manpower issues in the health sector.
Last but not least, the two parties reached an agreement to form an employer’s council by March 2018, in order to improve the labor-management relationship at the industry level and normalize the industry-based bargaining.
Following the center-level bargaining settlement on July 12, the KHMU will enter the full stage of industry-specific collective bargaining and site-based negotiations, in which they discuss regularization of irregular job positions and a higher staffing level in line with wage increase.
At the same time, the union will try to accomplish grand compromise (tripartite agreement), making the current <Tripartite TF Conference on Decent Jobs in Healthcare Sector> more meaningful and practical.
◼ The KHMU President Yoo Ji-hyun fighting against ovarian cancer
On June 2, the KHMU President Yoo went through a 9 hour-long ovarian cancer surgery. Since the operation, she has received the radiotherapy six times and anti-cancer treatment twice so far. The drug treatment has resulted in hair loss and the treatment should continue until the mid October. Many, including KHMU members, have shown their concerns and sent the union their wishes for her quick recovery.
◼ New chapters of KHMU
On June 2, a new chapter of KHMU was set up at Dongguk University Il-san Hospital.
On July 14, another new chapter was formed at Konyang University Hospital. Both Dongguk and Konyang hospitals are large sized and expected to expand its scale further in the near future.
Meanwhile, the KHMU chapter at Busan Univeristy Hospital, which belongs to the national university (as opposed to private one) now formed a irregular workers’ division with cleaning workers on July 11.
◼ Struggle to Reopen the Jinju Medical Center
The KHMU and the Provincial Movement Center to Form Public Hospital in the Western Gyungnam Area held a press conference at the Gwanghwamoon square (Seoul) on July 12, requesting to reopen the Jinju Medical Center or establish a public hospital meeting the medical needs in the west part of Gyungnam province.
◼ 16.4% Increase in Minimum Wage for 2018
On July 15, the Minimum Wage Committee voted and they set 7,530 won per hour as the minimum wage for 2018. For salary, 1,573,770 won (40 hours per week, 209 hours per month) is agreed as the minimum wage, which is 16.4% up from the same period of time last year.
The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions demands 10,000 won per hour as a minimum wage.