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Healthcare workers across Germany begin two-day strike

The Local Germany
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Healthcare workers across Germany begin two-day strike
The entrance to an emergency room at a hospital in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sven Hoppe

Starting Tuesday, several thousand healthcare workers across Germany are expected to walk out on a two-day warning strike.

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The trade union Verdi has called health sector workers in Germany out on a two-day strike this week, beginning on Tuesday. Hospitals, psychiatric clinics, care facilities and emergency services will be affected nationwide.

In Bavaria alone, more than 30 municipal hospitals and district clinics, as well as several institutions providing care for the elderly, plan to take part in the two-day walkout. The Nuremberg Hospital has had to cancel operations - including those for tumour patients. Only "absolutely not postponable operations" would take place, the hospital said.

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In Berlin, warning strikes are planned at the Charité University Hospital and other clinics. Employees at the main hospital in Kassel and at the Klinikum Region Hannover were also called to protest on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Hamburg is also affected: there, employees of the Asklepios clinics Altona, Barmbek, Harburg, Nord, St. Georg, Wandsbek and the Westklinikum Hamburg, as well as the University Hospital Hamburg Eppendorf (UKE), have been called out on strike. Verdi expects several thousand employees nationwide to follow the strike call.

READ ALSO: German postal workers vote in favour of 'open-ended strike'

Emergency care, however, was ensured in the run-up to the strikes via an emergency service agreement, so those needing life-saving treatment will be looked after. 

With the strikes, Verdi is protesting against the offer submitted by the federal and local governments at the end of February.

The employers had most recently offered a linear increase in wages of 3 percent this year and a further 2 percent next year and tax-free, one-off payments totalling €2,500, spread over two years.

However, Verdi rejected the offer and continues to demand 10.5 percent more pay per month, but at least an increase of €500, for its members. The third round of collective bargaining will take place from March 27th to 29th.

On Monday, the union also went on strike again at airports, where ground and aviation security staff are also demanding higher wages.

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