Doctors in German municipal clinics to be on strike amid wage dispute

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-11 00:43:05|Editor: yan
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BERLIN, April 10 (Xinhua) -- Doctors at municipal clinics in most German federal states are planning warning strikes, the Marburger Bund doctors' union announced on Wednesday.

The Marburger Bund called for strikes in about 500 establishments nationwide except in Berlin, Brandenburg and Hamburg. Several thousand participants are expected at a central rally in Frankfurt am Main. Emergency services are to be provided in clinics on strike.

Doctors will be striking in order to put pressure on their demands in the deadlocked wage dispute with the Association of Municipal Employers' Associations (VKA).

The Marburger Bund said the strikes were meant "to send the employers a clear sign of disappointment about their offer and loudly express the clear expectations of the doctors".

The doctors are expecting concrete improvements in their working conditions - less stress, better planning and more time for family and private life, according to the Marburger Bund.

Specifically, the doctors' union is demanding 5 percent more money and restrictions on on-call services, including two free weekends a month in the collective bargaining process for the approximately 55,000 doctors.

Three rounds of negotiations have so far taken place between the doctors' union and the VKA. The third round of talks from last month again ended without results.

The VKA had submitted an initial offer, which the Marburger Bund had rejected as insufficient. The Marburger federation decided to discuss the current state of affairs in its wage committees and then to decide on next steps.

According to a recent survey by the doctors' union, 40 percent of doctors in German municipal clinics work 49 to 59 hours a week. One in five doctors had even higher weekly averages of 60 to 80 working hours, including all services and overtime.