The doctors will not go on strike today. A political movement in extremis Canarian President Angel Víctor Torres, and his commitment to dialogue have been enough to calm the waters that had been tense for almost a month Canarian health. The president decided yesterday to meet with the unions that had called for this mobilization today (CC OO, Satse and UGT) taking advantage of an interlude of the parliamentary plenary session, and he did it in the hands of the Minister of Health, Teresa Cruz Oval. Finally, these three unions have agreed to call off the strike.
The conclusion of the meeting – which was delayed just over an hour – was to establish an alternative negotiation path with these three unions in which to respond to the main claim of doctors, and also these unions, in relation to their Offer Public Employment (OPE): the decentralization of the allocation of places. In this new procedure, the technicians of the Canary Health Service (SCS) they will present their vision in relation to this claim in which, as Cruz Oval advanced, they will explain “why the approach of an OPE call by management cannot go ahead” without incurring a legal irregularity.
Decentralization of the OPE
However, the calling unions insisted that decentralization of the opposition is possible. The secretary general of UGT, Francisco Bautista, recalled that the Government can take advantage of an Additional Provision of the Budget Act of 2019, since it establishes that the calls for the selection of SCS personnel could be adjusted and be both centralized and decentralized. “These additional provisions open the door to do it as we request,” Bautista said in a press conference.
Doctors have repeatedly requested that the allocation of places be made by management (decentralized), that is, that each professional could opt for the place they wanted in a specific center. Thus, and according to professionals, a massive movement of doctors between hospitals and the consequent loss of subspecialties that have been established in the teams of the Canary Health Service (SCS) would be avoided.
The Healthcare solution has so far been to create a mixed model in which, although doctors could choose in which hospital to submit their registration for the oppositions, the allocation of places could be carried out in order of punctuation.
However, as this solution, according to professionals, will not prevent the movement of the staff, Teresa Cruz also pledged yesterday to “guarantee service commissions to correct that deficit”, accelerating its procedure. The counselor also stressed her commitment to “build bridges to reach all the agreements that are necessary to improve the situation of workers” and indicated that she will respond to the request for dialogue of the unions. For his part, the president of Canary Government He valued both the work done by the current management team and the gesture that these unions have had when calling off the strike. “Any strike that is suspended and the negotiation path is opened is good news,” Torres concluded.
The spokesmen of the UGT and CC OO unions, Francisco Bautista and José Alonso Rodríguez Tapia, respectively, were “very satisfied” to have reached an agreement and repeatedly thanked the intervention of the president of the Canarian Government in this conflict. “We thank the president for agreeing and avoiding what was going to be the first strike to this progressive Canary government,” Bautista insisted. Also, both stressed that, although the counselor had been present, the “initiative to resolve the conflict” emerged from the president himself. In any case, as Rodríguez Tapia pointed out, the suspension of the strike is precautionary, and if the meetings held hereinafter “do not meet the expectations” of the unions, it is possible that the strike will be reactivated again.
This initial caution of the unions has its origin in the way in which the Cruz Oval team has managed labor negotiation. In fact, that is just one of the reasons that fueled the conflict. According to José Alonso Rodríguez Tapia, general secretary of CCOO, the negotiations with the Administration consisted of “sending the text that you want to agree to the unions, giving 48 hours to provide suggestions and then applying any combination that it deems appropriate.” They also criticized that since the presentation of the strike notice, the Ministry has not carried out any kind of approach to resolve the conflict. In fact, the only scheduled meeting was to be held yesterday in Gran Canaria between the director of Human Resources, Francisco Artiles, and the unions to establish the minimum services before the imminent strike call.
Yes, there has been a rapprochement of positions with the Union of Physicians of Santa Cruz de Tenerife (CESM) and with some platforms of interim doctors who had detached themselves from this strike and that carried their own claims regarding the OPE. Specifically, and since they began their mobilizations in December, doctors from the province of Tenerife – the most affected by this OPE – had focused their speech on three requests: make a public offer of decentralized employment for medical specialists, increase the number of places offered at the University Hospital of the Canary Islands (HUC) and create interinities for temporary workers who have been in the position for more than a year.
The Ministry of Health, in the last sectoral tables held, has responded to part of the demands of the group. Among the most important is the commitment to increase the number of seats for the current OPE, adding the hundred seats approved in 2019.
Does not rule out changes in Health
- For the moment, the fire with the unions and the strike call, Angel Victor Torres It does not rule out that the resolution of this crisis generates some change in the Ministry of Health of the Canary Islands Government. Asked about this possibility, the regional president stressed that “there may be changes in this or another department” and recalled the adjustments made in the Ministry of Economy. In January, after the announcement of a strike, he speculated on the possible dismissal of Teresa Cruz Oval as a Minister of Health. Now, after stopping the union mobilization, Torres stressed that health “demands the maximum work of all”, including the area counselor, Teresa Cruz, which he urged to continue working as before.