The Union of Health and Social Security Workers (SINTRASASS) held a sit-in on February 15 at QuirónSalud/Fresenius’s Clínica de la Mujer in Bogotá, protesting the company’s stalled response to workers’ collective bargaining demands and not receiving a sensible and appropriate counterproposal at the direct settlement stage after four meetings with the company.
Over the course of four meetings, the union presented the company with workers’ real-world issues, such as non-compliance with scheduled hours, meaning workers do not leave at the scheduled time; the use of fixed-term contracts; the uneven coverage of the transportation stipend, since not all workers have this benefit; as well as not having a pension, funeral benefits or parental leave after childbirth.
The need for salary harmonization was also raised, given that Clínica de la Mujer workers are among the lowest paid for the same jobs within the QuirónSalud Group.
“We believe that paying workers here an equal wage for doing equal is a fair request. We believe that our work is essential and that it deserves recognition including a salary in line with the economic situation that the country is going through,” said Maritza Pazos, president of the Bogotá union branch.
The union hopes to unstick negotiations with the company to guarantee dialogue and find solutions conflicts, especially in relation to union activity.
“SINTRASASS is exercising its fundamental right to negotiate for fairer working conditions. We know that the company can negotiate with unions in other countries, it is time for it to do the same in Colombia,” said Alan Sable, Director of UNI Care Americas.
“Quironsalud’s proposals fall short of what workers at Fresenius deserve. As the dialogue continues, we hope they listen to the workers and present counterproposals to the union that truly moves the process forward and reach an agreement that is so important for private health care workers,” he concluded.
SINTRASASS is a national union organization of health and social security workers, we represent the people linked through a contract to the clinics belonging to the Quirónsalud Group in Colombia.
UNI Americas is the continental arm of UNI Global Union, the global union federation for the service and related sectors. Its member unions—including SINTRASASS—represent more than 20 million workers worldwide.