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Swedish nurses up in arms over doc's extra pay

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Swedish nurses up in arms over doc's extra pay
07:33 CET+01:00
Nurses at the University Hospital in Linköping, in central Sweden, made to work over the Christmas weekend, were disgruntled to find out that they were given 440 kronor ($64) extra for the trouble, while the doctor on call received an extra 30,000.

“We don't begrudge doctors earning money. But we are upset that they get it all and we get nothing,” said nurse Ulrika Håkansson to local paper Östgöta Correspondenten.

Urban Säfvenberg, who heads the hospital's ER unit, understands that the nurses are upset but stressed that the payment the doctor received over Christmas follows deals struck between the county council and the physicians' unions.

“This is nothing that I have negotiated,” he told the paper.

The doctor got called in on short notice and is be paid double the normal fee for that day, according to union agreements.

On top of that, physicians are paid extra over the holidays, which led to the doctor in question getting six times his hourly wage as an incentive to work overnight on Christmas.

The nurses, on the other hand, were told they had to work.

There aren't enough experienced nurses to go around, and despite having worked last Christmas and being scheduled to work on New Year's, Håkansson was told she was obliged.

The nurses who were drafted in were given 40 kronor extra per hour - at total of 440 kronor - to change their schedule to work overnight at Christmas rather than a regular night.

According to Håkansson, it seems obvious that doctors get their demands met as the county council are loathe to lose them.

“Why does no one seem to care about the bad conditions making experienced nurses leave their jobs?” she asked the paper.

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