Close to 100 000 employees in the Hungarian state-owned health care sector will receive major pay rises under an agreement between the government and trade unions and chambers representing medical professions which was announced by Minister of Human Capacities Zoltán Balog on Thursday.
Zoltán Balog, the minister in charge of health care, has promised that health care workers’ employees will “close to double” until 2019 (photo: 444.hu)
According to Mr. Balog, gross basic wages of specialist doctors and hospital-based specialist pharmacists will increase by HUF 107 000 (EUR 342) from 1 September and a further HUF 100 000 (EUR 320) from 1 November 2017. Resident doctors’ basic wage will increase by HUF 50 000 (EUR 160) from next November, the Minister said. As for health care workers, basic wages will increase by an average of 26.5 per cent this year, 12 per cent from November 2017 and a further 8 per cent in November 2018 and November 2019, he added.
Approximately HUF 500 billion has been spent on the development of health care infrastructure in the country over the past four years, with an additional HUF 100 billion being spent on improving salaries in the running year and in 2017, he pointed out. This will mean that on average, the graduated and differentiated increase of wages will mean that health care employees’ salaries will close to double in the period between 2012 and 2019.
Trade union leader Ágnes Cser thanked the government for giving in to workers’ demands (photo: hirado.hu)
At the press conference, Ágnes Cser, chairperson of the Hungarian Social and Healthcare Workers’ Democratic Trade Union and a chief negotiator at the wage talks, thanked the government for the agreement and meeting the organisation’s strike demands, which “for left-liberal governments rejected to discuss in substance”.
In mid-May, an estimated 5000 nurses and other health care workers demonstrated in central Budapest in demand of better working conditions and higher salaries.