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Nursing professionals plan a national sit-in on January 20 for labor justice

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Morocco’s nursing professionals from various cities are set to stage a national sit-in on January 20th in front of the Parliament in Rabat, demanding labor justice for the nursing profession, according to an official statement.

This coincides with the imminent finalization of the preliminary agreement between the Ministry of Health and Social Protection and healthcare unions by the end of this month.

The National Coordination of Students, Laureate, and Nurses of Higher Institutes of Nursing and Health Techniques said that this decision comes following “exhausting all forms of regional, and local grassroots protests without any positive response from the Ministry of Health and Social Protection regarding our set of demands.”

This includes “labor justice for the sector’s professionals, categorical rejection of all forms of contracting among nurses and health technicians, and allocation of compensation for the occupational risks and nursing students”, highlighted in the statement.

Said El Karmoudi, a member of the National Media Committee said, in a statement to Hespress EN, that the agreement can be seen as a continuation of the ongoing social dialogue, and it builds upon the agreements signed in 2022.

“As nursing professionals, we have not benefited from the 2022 agreement, as it does not advocate for our rights and does not address our concerns,” he indicated, stressing that “the increase in promotion quotas was only minimal (by 1%), from 13% to 14%, while other bodies in the sector were able to get promoted without quotas.”

Our primary demand as a national coordination committee is to achieve salary justice and improve promotion conditions. “We are demanding a promotion quota of 50% and nothing less. We want fairness for nurses and health technicians,” emphasized Karmoudi.

He grumbled about the way the recent minutes of agreement were drafted, which in his view, were somewhat unclear and vague concerning how the nursing professional’s demands would be fulfilled.

The meeting addressed all sector issues, but nursing professionals should be the first to benefit from salary justice, as they have not benefited from the previous agreement, added the same speaker.

“We have proposed a raise of 3000 MAD, as any increase below this amount does not represent justice for us,” underscored Karmoudi.

As to their demand for allocating compensation for nursing students, he found it deeply concerning that the agreement did not address it.

“We believe that the national sit-in on January 20th is necessary to exert pressure on the responsible ministry and discuss this demand during the upcoming dialogue at the end of this month,” explained the member of the National Media Committee, stressing that they are seeking “preliminary approval from the Ministry of Finance.”

During the last week of December 2023, the Ministry of Health and Social held a meeting with the unions representing the healthcare sector and planned to finalize an agreement that addresses the sector’s demands by the end of January 2024.

The reform is said to introduce major changes to variable pay and allowances.

The discussions focused on occupational risk incentives, promotion criteria, new steps, and quota adjustments. A proposal was made to shorten the promotion period from six to four years and base it on seniority after eight years instead of ten.

The consultations also revealed a lack of compensation for professional risks for assistant teachers at nursing and health technician training institutes, a shortcoming that the unions submitted to the government.

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