• Sweden's news in English
 

Midwives quit over wages and 'scared mums'

The Local/at · 28 Feb 2014, 15:09

Published: 28 Feb 2014 15:09 GMT+01:00

The 28 midwives who decided to leave Akademiska hospital in Uppsala said on Friday that they had demanded an extra 5,000 kronor ($778) in salary every month. They were given less than half of that sum.

Yet the midwives claimed they quit not only because of the size of their individual pay packages, but because they were worried that low salaries and a "stalled salary development" meant that Swedish maternal care could no longer attract midwives, putting expectant mothers' health at risk. 

"We hope that management will take its responsibility. You cannot run the maternity clinic 28 midwives down, that's clear. We need a solution," midwife Jenny Kihlström Larsson told the TT news agency. She said the salaries were too low and that salary development had stalled. 

"So far we've been told that we are prioritized when it comes to revision salaries," she added before saying that the proposed raise was not acceptable to her and her colleagues. "It gives about a four-percent rise. It's nothing." 

News that maternal healthcare in nearby Stockholm has struggled to find staff had several of the Uppsala midwives eyeing a potential move to the capital region, while some were considering working in neighbouring Norway, Kihlström Larsson said.

Indeed, Stockholm midwives can earn anywhere between 30,000 kronor and 38,000 kronor a month, with students aiming at a 30,000 kronor entry level salary, Jane Stegrin, vice chairwoman of the Stockholm Association of Health Professionals, told The Local. 

But even in Stockholm, salaries can vary wildly between midwives in the delivery ward and those working with families in the pre- and after-birth phases of the pregnancy, she added.

The mass resignation in Uppsala came as no surprise to the independent trade union the Swedish Association of Health Professionals (Vårdförbundet).

"They're quitting just ahead of the summer, it is very serious," chairwoman Monica Hedström Carlsson said in reference to the demands on scaled-back staff in the summer dealing with a high number of patients.

The news came just one day after the association in Stockholm warned that the failure to attract midwives was putting patients' at risk. 

"Women about to give birth are scared," the it said in a statement on Thursday. "Many come in early because they are worried about not being given space, which leads to protracted labour with more epidurals and an increase in the use of suction cups." 

Story continues below…

They added that some women did the reverse, staying at home for too long because they had not been allocated a hospital bed. 

"So they have to do all the work themselves without a midwife present," the statement read. "We see how injuries related to giving birth are increasing."

In Stockholm, the association said it wanted to have one midwife on the floor per woman giving birth. The representatives also demanded that regional politicians - healthcare is managed at county level in Sweden - take "long-term responsibility" for planning maternity care. They also criticized the current model where new staff and substitute midwives were given insufficient on-the-job training.

"It's not enough to be thrown into an already beleaguered workplace and get inadequate training for two weeks," they wrote. "A structured professional introduction takes several months." 

The Local/at (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Man dies after falling four floors in Swedish nightclub
People queuing outside the Yaki-Da nightclub in Gothenburg last year. Photo: Yaki-Da Facebook

Man dies after falling four floors in Swedish nightclub
22 hours ago

A man in his 30s has died after falling from the fourth floor inside the Yaki-Da nightclub in Gothenburg late on Friday night.

Julian Assange
British press savages Assange and UN panel
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange holding a U.N. report on the balcony of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. Photo: Katy Wrigglesworth/AP

British press savages Assange and UN panel
1 day ago

UK newspaper columnists on Saturday took aim at Julian Assange and the UN panel that found the anti-secrecy campaigner had been "arbitrarily detained".

Julian Assange
Assange: 'Today is a significant victory for us'
Julian Assange's press conference on Friday. Photo: Mattias Areskog/TT

Assange: 'Today is a significant victory for us'
1 day ago

Will Julian Assange be able to walk free?

Julian Assange
Swedish rape activists slam UN on Assange
The board of Swedish women's refuge lobby Roks. (Zozan Inci front left). Photo: Roks

Swedish rape activists slam UN on Assange
1 day ago

“The UN thinks that the justice of the women who have been assaulted and raped is less important than the right of a possible offender to walk freely in the streets.”

Ikea loses right to own trademark in Indonesia
What four yellow letters can Ikea put up at its store outside Jakarta. Photo: Flickr/BxHxTxCx

Ikea loses right to own trademark in Indonesia
1 day ago

You thought that Ikea was a Swedish purveyor of flatpack furniture? Well not in Indonesia it isn't, at least not any more.

The Local List
Four fab facts about Sweden's 'Melodifestivalen' mania
Måns Zelmerlöw won Eurovision song contest 2015. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Four fab facts about Sweden's 'Melodifestivalen' mania
1 day ago

Christmas, Midsummer and Lucia are all important holidays in Sweden. But there is one event that is bigger than them all.

The Local music
Ten fantastic Swedish songs for February
Maja Francis. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

Ten fantastic Swedish songs for February
2 days ago

February brings a haul of great new Swedish pop - let our music writer, Paul Connolly, take you through the very best.

Elderly Swedes arrested in Thailand for playing bridge
Stock picture of playing cards. Photo: Ingvar Karmhed/SCANPIX

Elderly Swedes arrested in Thailand for playing bridge
2 days ago

A game of bridge had an unexpected ending for 32 club members in Thailand, including three Swedes.

Swedish Volvo's offloads costs for big profit rise
A Volvo trucks plant in the US. Photo: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Swedish Volvo's offloads costs for big profit rise
2 days ago

Truck maker Volvo reported a big profit boost on Friday following a massive cost-cutting programme.

Swede finds 86-year-old condom at grandma's
The condoms were made out of silk. Photo: SVT

Swede finds 86-year-old condom at grandma's
2 days ago

Would you trust a silk condom?

Sponsored Article
How to set up shop in the 'Silicon Valley of Sweden'
International
Who exactly is Julian Assange?
Sponsored Article
US taxes and FATCA: 'The time for hiding is over'
Travel
Stockholm's eight REAL no-go zones
Gallery
People-watching: February 3rd
Blog updates

4 February

City Runs (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Since moving to Stockholm I’ve been blessed to live next to the Djurgarden, and to be…" READ »

 

3 February

An amazing month for The Local as Europe thirsts for news (Globally Local) »

"Here at The Local, we shy away from blowing our own trumpet – but sometimes if…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
Swiss hospitality: The ladder to your international career
National
'How confronting the man who robbed me gave me closure'
Sponsored Article
Ice magic at north Sweden island lodges
National
TIMELINE: All the twists and turns in the Julian Assange case
Analysis & Opinion
DEBATE: Why are Swedes so obsessed with Nordic skiing?
Culture
See which Swedish museums are now opening up for free
Sponsored Article
Just landed? Here's the secret to finding work in Stockholm
Gallery
Property of the week: Insjön, Nacka
Sponsored Article
Stockholm's secret ski resort: Kungsberget
National
VIDEO: Tensions caught on camera inside Swedish asylum home
Gallery
People-Watching: January 29th - 31st
Sponsored Article
Luleå: 8 winter must-dos in Sweden's far north
International
How will Sweden deport up to 80,000 failed asylum seekers?
Sport
When you gotta go... Swedish racing dog does poo and then takes gold
Sport
Guess who just got a HUGE pay rise?
Travel
WATCH: Five top tips for safe ice skating on Sweden's gorgeous lakes
Gallery
People-watching: January 27th
National
'Sweden could be at war within years'
Gallery
Property of the week: Öjersbo, Kungsbacka
International
Why is the Pope coming to Sweden?
Travel
Ten must-see Stockholm museums
National
He created Sweden's huge snow penis
Culture
The historic moment when Abba reunited on stage in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
OPINION: Why I can't embrace Sweden's obsession with hugging
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Mamma Mia The Party show opens in Stockholm
3,407
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se