Nurses forced to sign ‘slave contracts’

Nurses given specialist training by Örebro county council are being forced to work for the local authority's own health service for three year's after the completion of their education. If they choose to leave they are required to pay back the county council for part of their education.

“These are pure slave contracts,” Ana Vellet, chairwoman of the local branch of the Swedish Association of Health Professionals (Vårdfrbundet), told Nerikes Allehanda.

The scheme is however supported by Birgitta Wiberg, personnel manager at Örebro University Hospital.

“We are keen for our employees to specialize in particular areas, which is why we have made such a big investment. Our aim is for them to remain working here as qualified specialists.

“It is reasonable for us to be able to make use of their knowledge when they are fully trained,” she told Nerikes Allehanda.

But the Association of Health Professional is advising its members not to sign the contracts, arguing that the county council-run hospital could hold on to its employees by offered them improved pay and conditions.

“We can’t recommend a single person to sign contracts like these,” Anna Vellet told Nerikes Allehanda.