Portuguese Nurses Union sets strike for March 15

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Nurses will be on strike on March 15, fighting for an updated salary scale, fair pay, better working conditions and a dignified career, announced the Portuguese Nurses’ Union (SEP).

According to the strike notice published in the press today, the strike will take place from 8 a.m. to midnight (morning and afternoon shifts) on March 15 and covers nurses in the public and social sectors.

The minimum services cover emergency situations in permanent care units that operate 24 hours a day, inpatient services that also operate 24 hours a day, intensive care, operating theaters – with the exception of scheduled surgeries – emergency rooms, hemodialysis services and cancer treatments.

In terms of minimum services for cancer treatments, the strike notice includes surgery or the start of radiotherapy or chemotherapy treatments for newly diagnosed cancer diseases classified with priority level 4, surgery for diseases with priority level 3 if it is not possible to reschedule in the following 15 days and the continuity of ongoing treatments.

Also covered by the minimum services are ongoing scheduled treatments, as well as planned sessions of radiotherapy and chemotherapy programs and treatments with daily prescriptions on an outpatient basis.

With regard to other situations, such as scheduled surgeries, the SEP says that “they should be considered in accordance with the institutions’ contingency plan for situations comparable to time off – often announced at short notice – or cancellations of surgeries on the same day – due to the impossibility of carrying them out during the normal working hours of the staff or the operating room”.

The SEP also points out that it is not necessary to provide minimum services in the case of day hospitals, since emergency requirements and “particularly serious cases” in the field of oncology are satisfied.

As for the staff needed to carry out the minimum services, it will be the same as that defined for the night shifts, but for cancer surgeries, this number will be increased by three nursing professionals (an instrumentalist, an anesthetist and a circulator) in the operating room and one more nurse to ensure recovery.

With this strike, the SEP is demanding the updating of salary scales and fair pay, the dignification of the nursing career and better working conditions.

The last national nurses’ strike took place between December 21 and January 2, to demand parity with the senior technical career in the Public Administration, and was called by the Independent Union of All United Nurses (SITEU).

Ombudsman considers the Order of Nurses’ disciplinary rule unconstitutional

The ombudsman has recommended that the Order of Nurses amend its disciplinary regulations, eliminating the ban on the presence of a lawyer when witnesses are examined in disciplinary proceedings, which she considers illegal and unconstitutional.

Maria Lúcia Amaral’s recommendation follows a complaint received by the Ombudsman’s Office regarding the disciplinary regulations of the Order of Nurses, which prohibit the presence of the lawyer of the accused, the complainant, the plaintiff or the participant in the examination of witnesses that takes place during the defense phase of the disciplinary process.

“Although the regulatory norms approved by professional associations can be restrictive of fundamental rights, there are constitutional and legal limits which, if exceeded, determine the legal censorship of such norms,” the text of the recommendation states.

Maria Lúcia Amaral also points out that, as far as the defendant’s right to defense is concerned, the prohibition on the presence of his lawyer during the witness examination phase “limits the possibility of monitoring the legality of the examination, of exercising the adversarial process and also hinders the discovery of the material truth”.

The ombudsman believes that the rule restricting the accompaniment of a lawyer and the defense of the accused in disciplinary proceedings calls into question “various legal and constitutional limits”.

“The benefits of the rule in question for the speed [of the process] do not outweigh the respective costs for the defendant’s rights of defense,” and are therefore disproportionate, he says

Maria Lúcia Amaral recalls that the Statute of the Bar Association prohibits lawyers from accompanying their clients “before any authority or jurisdiction”.

Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi

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