Operations cancelled as hospital workers go on strike for a better pay deal

Hundreds of operations will be canceled on Wednesday as nurses and hospital staff take part in the first ever national hospital strike.

Emergency operations will still go ahead but non-urgent procedures and regular appointments have been cancelled all over the country.

In total, the strike will affect 83 hospitals, 32 day clinics and four rehabilitation centres, most of which will operate a Sunday service. Teaching hospitals are not affected because their staff fall under a different pay deal.

Unions have called the strike because pay talks with the hospitals have broken down. They are calling for a 5% basic pay rise and bonuses for staff who are called in to work at short notice, as well as measures to reduce workloads.

At the end of September, the Dutch hospitals association NVZ proposed 4% pay rise for all staff in 2020 and 2021 and a bigger bonus for working irregular hours, but unions rejected it as a marginal increase.

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