Nurses walk off jobs in droves

As the nursing strike enters its third week, an additional 4,300 healthcare union workers walked off their jobs at noon on Monday.

Nurses walk off jobs in droves

A total of 7,150 members of the Swedish Association of Healthcare Professionals (Vårdförbundet) are now on strike.

Alingsås hospital outside of Gothenburg spent the entire weekend moving patients.

Approximately 200 nurses, or one third of the Alingsås facility’s entire staff, are among those who joined the strike on Monday.

“The emergency room reception is closed today and we have limited activity in all other reception areas. It feels a bit empty and strange here,” said hospital spokesperson Emelie Widarson to the TT news agency.

Before the weekend, the union and their employer, the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR), made their first contact since the strike began via a moderator.

Negotiations are set to continue on Tuesday morning.

Following discussions with the mediator last Wednesday, the union authorized a third warning authorizing 2,750 members to go on strike on May 16th if the conflict remains unsolved.

Vårdförbundet is demanding higher salaries for its members which it sees as underpaid with respect to their level of education and responsibility.

In the coming weeks negotiations will be held at the local level to determine whether certain county councils have abused their right to call striking nurses to work on the grounds of avoiding a situation which puts society in danger.

Vårdförbundet head Anna-Karin Eklund explained her hopes for the next step in the negotiations.

“We hope that SALAR gives a clear signal to the mediators that they are willing to go through with a revaluation of the worth of our members which we see as critical,” she said to the TT news agency.