23/04/2013 - A group of nurses protested this morning outside the Social Security building on Vía Transístmica.
The protest was held to support a 48-hour strike called by the National Association of Nurses.
Service in a number of hospitals has been impacted by the strike, which involves some 5,500 nurses. The nurses are staffing emergency rooms and other vital areas.
The Manuel Ferrer Valdés Polyclinic was closed except for the emergency room.
Representatives of the Office of the Ombudsman met with union leaders this morning.
Eduardo López, secretary of the Ombudsman's Office, said that the nurses "are thirsty for justice." He said the government's failure to grant promised pay increases "is not the way to treat professionals."
THE POSITION OF THE MINISTRY
Deputy Minister of Health Adelys Varela said that the nurses strike is "unjustified." She added that the promised pay increases will be made in June, and that an earlier payment is not possible due to budgetary reasons.
She said that the union agreed to this plan.
She also said that the latest salary demand is not feasible due to economic restraints, while at the same time saying that "nurses do a wonderful job."
"They sacrifice their own quality of life for others, however what they are asking for is not economically possible," Varela stated.
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