KHMU Info No. 9(September 16, 2018)
The Chonnam National University Hospital Workers Went On a Strike on September 12.
Most of hospital unions that applied for dispute mediation on August 27 saw a settlement.
The Chonnam National University Hospital (CNUH), the branch of KHMU, began to go on an all-out strike at 7:00 am on September 12.
The CNUH workers held the strike opening ceremony at the lobby of the hospital at 9:00 am on 12th, followed by the press conference on 10:30 am. The Gwangju’s largest university hospital briefed the media groups on their core demands for higher staffing level, regularization of irregular job positions and wage raise and on the future struggle plans.
The CNUH union, which belongs to the national hospital sector under KHMU, has 1,854 workers including nurses as union members. They started negotiations on July 12 but have since failed to reach an agreement. Hence, they applied for the dispute mediation at the Labor Relations Commission.
From August 29 to 31, the union conducted a yes or no vote for industrial action and with around 93% of support, it decided to go out on a strike.
Meanwhile, most of the KHMU branches that applied for industrial action on August 27 reached a dramatic settlement. Among national university hospital branches, the Pusan National University Dental Hospital branch concluded the dispute on September 10, while the unions of the Pusan National University Hospital, the Chonbuk National University Hospital and the Chungnam National University Hospital all reached a settlement on 11th. The union branches of the Kosin University Gospel Hospital and the Gwangju Municipal Geriatric Hospital agreed to the final conclusion on 7th and 10th respectively.
The union branches of the national hospitals made a meaningful agreement in core agenda such as 52-hour work per week ceiling, staffing level, wage and irregular jobs’ regularization. For the Pusan National University Hospital branch, they reached an agreement that three-month long orientation period of new employees will not be counted in the in-service staff, which can help newly hired nurses focus on job trainings only.
The KHMU will continue to work hard for smooth conclusions of disputes still going on by having a dialogue and taking other actions. In case those employers’ representatives do not show any changes in their positions, it will not avoid possible forceful responses. For example, unless signs of agreement is seen, the nationwide health sector union will organize an intensive rally joined by all leadership of the KHMU and conduct a strong industry-level fight.
A total of 67 union branches applied for the dispute mediations on August 20,27 and 29. The Kwangju Christian Hospital went on a strike for three days and reached a fruitful agreement on September 9.
On the contrary, in other negotiations such as the central industry-level collective bargaining joined by 46 branches and the collective bargaining dedicated to government-sponsored local medical centers that affect 20 local centers, some critical issues remain to be solved: shorter working hours with 52 hour work-week system and regularization of irregular jobs. The final mediation meeting will be held on September 13.