KHMU INFO <5> May 22, 2017
The KHMU held the temporary delegate convention and confirmed 2017 industry-level bargaining requests and action plans for continuing fights
The nationwide healthcare union and the newly elected government reached an agreement to hold tripartite consultations to address workforce problems.
On May 17th, the Korean Health and Medical Workers’ Union (KHMU President Yoo Ji-hyun) held the Temporary Delegate Convention and confirmed the 2017 industry-level collective bargaining plans and proposals.
President Yoo Ji-hyun said in her opening speech, “After the new president’s inauguration, we are hoping to see changes. We’ve played a crucial role in the candlelight revolution, which nearly 17 million citizens joined. This presidential election is the achievement that we’ve all made together. However, everything is not going to change overnight. Let’s work together to institutionalize industry-level bargaining and fix the healthcare delivery system for expanding the workforce, protecting temporary workers, and reducing long working hours that have been widespread across the industry.”
The KHMU published the slogan for the 2017 industrial collective-wage bargaining at the temporary delegate convention: “Victory for the candlelight revolution! A job and medical revolution will usher in a new Korea.” After the inauguration of Moon Jae-in’s government, with 100 day-long action plans, the union has committed to fighting to increase the number of healthcare workers, create policies and laws, change institutional systems so that Korea achieves a sweeping and practical medical reform.
In particular, the entire union shared the view that labor-management negotiations alone do not create jobs, increase the staffing level, reform the medical system, as the goals cannot be accomplished without legal and institutional, administrative, and financial support. For the 2017 job and medical revolution in the healthcare sector, the convention has decided to take measures—policy consultation, industrial bargaining, and industrial struggle—designed to expand workforces, protect temporary workers, improve working conditions, reform the entire health and medical system, and institutionalize industry-level consultation.
In this year’s industry-level negotiation, KHMU demanded the expansion of the workforce in hospitals, all-out implementation of integrated nursing care service and shorter working hours for job creation, lower turnover rate, and faithful observance of medical laws. Besides these requests, KHMU is not only aiming to eliminate temporary positions in hospitals but calling for the hospital’s social responsibility: wage increases, the development of industry-level labor and management relations, and society’s freedom from worry over hospital bills.
The KHMU is scheduled to hold the tripartite debate for job creation and the first union-management policy consultations on May 31st and conduct industry-wide bargaining on June 14th. With these actions, the union will get into the fight for a job and healthcare revolution in earnest.
On June 28th, the KHMU plans to hold an all-out strike with the entire union marching in the streets of Seoul to promote its demands for securing a sufficient labor force, fixing the problem of temporary positions, and raising the minimum wage to 10,000 won. On August 30th, it will hold the Hanmadang Festival for 10,000 healthcare workers to realize the “Jobs and Medical Revolution.”
The KHMU signed the policy agreement with the newly elected President Moon Jae-in during his election campaign when he was a candidate.
Meanwhile, Presdient Yoo Ji-hyun attended the ILO Tripartite Meeting on Improving Working Conditions in Health Services Underway held in Geneva from April 24th to 28th, and based on the result of the discussions at the meeting, the union is urging to establish a ‘Collective Tripartite Body in the Health and Medical Sector’ for a higher staffing level.