"It is true that this is a completely atypical blow that has never happened in Portugal, but it is atypical because the sisters have reached a totally atypical situation." What is aggressive, what happened to sisters and their working conditions. says Rita Cavaco, who refers to a statement by the Health Minister, calling the strike "an unusually aggressive form of struggle".
Two sister unions called for a strike on February 22nd and lasted more than a month focusing on five large-hospital operative blocks, a concept of stoppage that began at the beginning of nursing movement, and which already collected more than 350,000 euros in a compensation fund for professionals who will be without salary. Nurses are demanding a better reward and a decent career and noted that they have not been going for 13 years.
Nurses believe that experts "rely on the walls very extremely aggressively" and respond with "the weapons they have available through trade unions".
"We come to this situation for several reasons, but it's not money, that's what people like," says Ana Rita Cavaco, stressing that nurses have been crippled since 2005, recognized their specialized category and worked in exempt services .
A nurse's nurse also points out that the nurse has a monthly fee of 980 euros per month, has one or twenty years of careers. Workload is also a cross-cutting issue where experts work "twice or three times in contract".
And these extra hours are not paid, reminds staff, suggesting that hospitals have "thousands of hours" of nurses who are piling off for more hours that they can not end up enjoying:
"If they took it [correspondentes a essas horas], all hospitals had to close the door because they are in debt for thousands of hours. "
Ana Rita Cavaco says she often accepts working hours that work 60 hours instead of 35 hours: "It's aggressive and you can not afford it."
Another frequent complaint with nurses is the ratio of professionals to services that sometimes provide only one nurse per shift, with 20, 30 or 40 beds under their care.
"Everyone realizes that one nurse can not handle 20 patients, let alone 40. We can not have hospitals such as Cascais, Covilhã or Lisbon psychiatry, where the number of nurses is so low that no one is nobody in the day and people are not left to self, "says the staff.
The effects of a surgical attack on the five surgery halls of major hospitals Ana Rita Cavaco says she understands the fears that may exist in society, but recalls that there are no worries about emergency situations because there are minimal services like everyone else.
Many operations will be postponed by this strike, including oncology, unless they are considered urgent. This means that stopping will affect planned operations.
"If you are afraid of a surgeon's surgery, we mean that this is a really extreme measure, but in Portugal we have to think hard about waiting times for surgery that are unacceptable, I want to live in a country where there are oncological surgeries and others waiting for one months to two years, which is a reality in Portugal, "regrets employees.
Another innovative feature of this strike is, apart from the long duration, that it originally emerged from an independent sister movement, a fund that is open to everyone to fund and support professionals who will be paralyzed and unpaid.
With this form of funding, which has so far earned more than 350,000 euros, staff believe it is a "positive sign" that we realize there are many people who "want nurses to work":
"When we look at the terms of our colleagues, there is nothing to suggest that there is mass participation of all nurses, friends and families … They do not want to believe that nurses interested in them have come here today."
The employee fears that nurses are now "on the street" where a "zero deficit" has to be achieved in the country at the expense of non-medical treatment.
But he still believes that the government "can negotiate a career with nurses" and solve at least the most complex problems in hospitals.
The announcement of a strike commencing next week includes all sisters of the S. João University Hospital, the University Hospital Port in Port, the Hospital and University Center in Coimbra, the University Hospital in Lisbon, and the Setúbal Hospital Center.