Doctors’ unions return to negotiations today after receiving government proposal

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Doctors’ unions return to negotiations today, after receiving the Government’s proposal on Thursday, but an agreement between the parties on the revision of salary scales seems difficult to reach at this meeting.

Last week, the Independent Union of Doctors (SIM) and the National Federation of Doctors (FNAM) guaranteed that they would only attend today’s joint negotiation round if they received the government proposal in advance, which happened in the early hours of Thursday.

The SIM has already said that the proposed 1.6% pay rise “makes no sense at all”, claiming that doctors have seen their purchasing power fall by more than 20% in the last 10 years.

The union, which called the three-day doctors’ strike that took place this week, also said it intends to present a counter-proposal, criticizing the Health Ministry for only formalizing its proposal after about 14 months of negotiations.

The FNAM, which has already scheduled a new strike for Tuesday and Wednesday, also regretted that it had only received the ministry’s document “just over 24 hours before the meeting” today where it will be present only “to register in person the delivery of the proposal and report on its position”.

“We will not make any partial analysis of the proposal until we have a global assessment for all doctors,” said the federation, advancing that it will present “in due course” a counter-proposal to the ministry.

On Thursday, the Minister of the Presidency, Mariana Vieira da Silva, said that the proposal sent to the unions focuses on the generalization of Family Health Units (USF) model B and the new full dedication regime, claiming that these are the Government’s priorities to improve the responsiveness of the National Health Service.

On the same day, the Minister of Health, Manuel Pizarro, assured that he is committed to a constructive dialog with all health professionals, which, he argued, should be done at the negotiating table and not in the media.

The negotiating protocol signed in 2022 between the unions and the government initially called for negotiations to be concluded by the end of June, but three more meetings have been held since then.

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