Updated at 13:48,15-08-2017

Pro-government trade union suggests raising pay for ambulance service staff

Naviny.by

The Belarusian Trade Union of Health Workers, which is affiliated with the pro-government Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus (FTUB), has drawn up about 20 proposals for improving the working conditions of ambulance service staff, BelaPAN said.

The union suggests, among other things, raising pay for ambulance staff by 25 percent and making them eligible for pay supplements, according to the FTUB press office.

The proposals were devised after a study of the problems of ambulance workers in Minsk and the Minsk, Hrodna, Homyel and Mahilyow regions, the press office said.

The government`s news agency BelTA reported on January 9 that authorities were promising to raise pay for ambulance service staff in Minsk in 2014.

The monthly supplement for ambulance service staff who work under contracts will be increased from 50 percent of their salaries to reach 6.5 times the Base Rate, or 845,000 rubels at present ($90), for doctors and for paramedics who work without the supervision of doctors, a spokesperson for the Minsk city healthcare department told BelTA.

According to the spokesperson, authorities are forming a commission to consider an online petition demanding that the pay of ambulance service staff should be at least doubled.

The petition was launched on www.change.org and sent to Alyaksandr Lukashenka and Health Minister Vasil Zharko at the beginning of January. Signed by some 4,000 people, the petition called for enacting a law that would offer security guarantees and provide insurance coverage and benefits to ambulance staff and would introduce stricter penalties for attacks on emergency health service workers.

In addition, the petition urged the authorities to toughen penalties for drivers who fail to yield to an ambulance on an emergency call.