From: Die Morina van Uijtregt
Private Health Sector Technical Staff Strike in Kosovo

Over two thousand private sector medical technical workers in Kosovo went on strike on Monday due to non-fulfilment of their requests for additional payments by the Government.

The Minister of Health, Armend Zemaj today held a meeting with the head of the Independent Trade Union of the Private Sector, Jusuf Azemi, and Acting Director of the Kosovo Hospital and Clinical Service, Valbon Krasniqi.

Zemaj said after the meeting that they will review the budget options for additional payments.

Although he said that the companies employing these workers were beneficiaries from the Emergency Package, he did not rule out the possibility that the technical workers of the Family Medicine Centers might receive additional payments.

“We will consider every possibility to review their request. We cannot say that the decision is final as it must follow coming steps to achieve a result,” Zemaj said.

Azemi, on the other side, said that a decision for the additional payment will be made today or on Tuesday.

“All that is left is to be discussed today because a decision must be made by the Government of Kosovo that these workers should be subsidized […] Budget lines must be found because according to them [government] payment was not planned […] we must find the way how they will be paid,” Azemi said.

“The decision to allocate payment will be by tomorrow at the latest,” he added.

Azemi also stated that the strike will continue until they are guaranteed they will receive additional payments.

He stressed that all the clinical centres across the country joined the strike, except those working at the University Clinical Center of Kosovo, as, according to Azemi, they have information that they were pressured by the owner threatening they will be fired, the public broadcaster RTK reported.

The technical staff and those working for security companies at health centres in Kosovo, protested after they felt discriminated by not being involved in government’s decision for additional payments as other employees of the health sector, due to COVID- 19 pandemic.

The government decided in October that employees in the public health system will receive additional payments for the period from September to December this year.

It was decided that doctors would receive EUR 250 per month, nurses EUR 150 per month and support staff  EUR 100 per month.