KHMU Info No. <6> June 20, 2017
The first official tripartite dialogue focused on increasing decent work in the healthcare sector.
The KHMU proposed a ‘Tripartite Cooperation’, to which the government replied: “We will actively support results of the negotiations between labor and management representatives.”
Together with the Healthcare Sector Employers’ Council (in progress), the Korean Health and Medical Workers’ Union (KHMU, president Yoo Ji-hyun) held a discussion with Mr. Lee Yong-sup, the Vice President of the National Job Creation Committee (drafted name).
As the first official dialogue among the three parties—labor, management, and government—to discuss decent work creation in the health sector, the session provides significant benefits to society.
The KHMU proposed a “Grand Social Cooperation” that includes policies on increasing staffing levels, solving irregular workers’ problems, shortening working hours and it requested the government and employers play an active role in achieving these outcomes. The labor representatives also noted that the labor union would agree to lower the rate of wage growth, provided that a suitable level of staffing be set, irregular workers be shifted to regular workers, and shorter working hours be achieved. They also emphasized that employers should actively join in trans-enterprise level negotiations and policy discussions with the labor union.
Notably, the national health union suggested ‘the National Job Creation Committee (Chairperson – President Moon Jae-in) form a sub-group specific to the health and medical sector under the Committee.
The Vice Chair Lee agreed to this committee and promised to create a platform for increasing jobs for healthcare workers. In addition, he said that he anticipated the tripartite cooperation in the health sector to be a success model for the rest of the society and expressed his commitment to actively support and sponsor the process.
Mr. Yang Seung-jo, the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Health and Welfare Committee on behalf of the members of the National Assembly attended the tripartite dialogue. Mr. Lee Yong-sup the Vice Chair of the National Job Creation Committee, Mr. Gwon Duk-cheol, the Vice Minister and Mr. Gang Do-tae the policy official on Health and Medical Sector at the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Mr. Moon Gi-sup, the senior manager of the Employment Policy Sector at the Ministry of Employment and Labor and other associates represented the government. Plus, a total of 300 attendees include hospital management representatives, KHMU leadership, senior members of trade unions, experts, and journalists.
On May 10, the new administration announced job creation as its overriding priority and formed the National Job Creation Committee with President Moon Jae-in as its Chairperson. In response to this, the new President’s approval rating currently exceeds 84%.
The KHMU plans to hold industry-wide negotiations with management representatives every Wednesday, starting with the first meeting on June 14.