Europe Danish nurses to expand strike over pay

Danish nurses to expand strike over pay

A Danish nurses’ strike will be expanded next month to involve an additional 702 nurses to show that they take their demand for higher pay seriously, their union said on Monday.

A tenth of Denmark’s nurses, around 5,400, went on strike in mid-June after union members voted against a pay deal that their union leadership had approved.

“We need to do something to get politicians and employers talking, and make them know that we take this seriously,” union president Grete Christensen said in a statement on Monday.

“If nothing is done about the nurses’ salaries and working conditions, we will have even fewer nurses in the future, and that will have a severe effect on the health service.”

Denmark has practically avoided a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic, easing pressure on an overstretched health service.

Danish nurses in March rejected a government offer of a 5.02% wage increase over three years.

A recent poll reported by Danish news agency Ritzau showed around 54% of Danes believed the government should not interfere in the wage negotiations, a last resort if there is no agreement between public employers and unions.

Danish Regions, a government employer which manages Denmark’s healthcare system, was not immediately able to comment.

More than 28,000 healthcare activities, including operations and other treatment, have been postponed due to the strike, the nurses’ union said last week.