JUNE 16th–FRENCH UNIONS NATIONAL HEALTH STRIKE

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Above and above right: Hundreds of hospital workers marched from the Robert Devre Hospital in Paris demanding more funding

TOMORROW, June 16th, everyone is being mobilised (striking) for health, the CGT French union federation has declared.

Health, medico-social, social, nursing homes and national education personnel will be mobilised to demand substantial resources for good working conditions, thus ensuring a quality public service for all users and patients.
They will also be on strike for the recognition of their trades and a consequent salary and professional increase with an immediate thaw in the value of the index point.
For more than a year, they have multiplied actions to alert the situation of the hospital, emergencies, medical deserts, the care of the elderly, letting fear in the event of an epidemic wave, real disasters sanitary facilities.
During all these months, they were despised, even clubbed by the government in power. The various ministers have either minimised the crisis in the hospital, or displayed promises they have not kept.
With the coronavirus, repeated alerts from caregivers have become a reality and the overcrowding of resuscitation services, the lack of follow-up beds for severely ill patients, the need to transfer very sick patients to train at the other end of the country, the closure of services deemed non-emergency, the excess mortality recorded in retirement homes, the absence of masks and protective gowns in number, interns and health students requisitioned,  often working without protection and for a miserable salary … unfortunately proved them right.
The whole policy of breaking the hospital and, more broadly, health, social security and the protection of the most vulnerable populations, must be abandoned.
This jumped out in the eyes of the population, worried about the pandemic. Impulses of popular solidarity were formed with them, especially every evening at 8pm during sustained applause throughout the country.
It is time to consider as a priority the response to the needs of the population and to initiate, at the end of this health crisis, a plan for programming and reconstruction of the entire healthcare system as well as of all the public services serving the general interest.
Already, the Ségur project wanted by the government shows its limits and looks like a new sham leading to measures consolidating the liberal policy that has prevailed for years.
On the contrary, the trade union and youth organisations are providing their support and inviting as many people as possible to participate in the numerous mobilisations already scheduled for June 16 and in all those underway called ‘Tuesdays of Anger’.
Let us act for the general revalorisation of the salaries of all the personnel, the recognition of their qualifications, a multi-disciplinary training plan and a personnel recruitment plan, the abolition of selection and the creation of places in the health sectors, a strengthening of financial means for establishments, a substantial increase in the 2020 and 2021 budgets, the stopping of all closure of establishments, services and beds, the guarantee of access to proximity and equal access to care for the population throughout the territory.
An earlier statement said that at a time when “the revival of the economy’ is a pretext for asking workers to make more and more sacrifices, the CGT is proposing to get out of this crisis by deeply transforming our model of society.
In a document entitled ‘Social and environmental progress, it is possible and urgent’, the CGT puts into the debate a series of proposals likely to initiate these transformations. There is one that it has claimed for many years: the reduction of working time to 32 hours without loss of salary. A proposal that takes on a new resonance at the end of the emerging confinement.
President Macron affirms in each of his interventions that he has taken the measure of the transformations that we must operate. His government announces, heart on hand, wanting to do everything to save jobs and prevent the economic crisis from hitting workers – especially the most vulnerable among them.
In fact, it distributes billions to large groups without demanding any real compensation, without guaranteeing that jobs will be maintained – except for a few vague media promises which we know are becoming … This same government calls on employees to sacrifice their vacation, their thirteenth month, accept lower wages and work more … to revive the economy.
Contrary to this logic, the reduction of working hours is one of the effective means of reviving the economy of our country and of reducing inequalities.
Putting in place the 32 hours without loss of salary would save and create jobs quickly, massively. The CGT estimates the number of jobs concerned at 4 million.
By redistributing part of the productivity gains achieved (wealth created) so far on all employees, by maintaining or giving access to stable employment to millions of unemployed, precarious workers … This measure would allow them to have finally an income allowing them to live with dignity. A brand new purchasing power which would lead them to, quite simply, consume … Little chance that they will stash their booty in one of the tax havens. It’s a safe bet that the economy of France would be better off.
Changing economic models requires going further than this just observation. For this, the CGT makes proposals and opens up avenues of debate with the objective of gaining a reduction in working time which lays the foundations for a more profound transformation of our society.
Work for everyone: fight against casualisation of work

  • assess and then eliminate the exemptions from social security contributions on fixed-term, temporary or part-time jobs;
  • make the payment of employer contributions compulsory on a full-time basis and guarantee the corresponding rights to employees;
  • open the precariousness bonus to part-time employees;
  • apply the same overtime increase rules for part-time employees as for those working full-time (by 25% on the first tranche of additional hours then by 50%);
  • the journey time between two jobs must be considered as working time;
  • any interruption of more than two hours in the day must trigger wage and/or hourly compensation;
  • establish for employees the right to change to 24 hours a week and 7 hours a day;
  • increased daily rest time to 12 hours per day.

Work better, fight
arduous work and
Sunday work

  • opening up the possibility from the age of 50 of being able to benefit from an early departure from the age of 57 for the most difficult jobs;
  • automatic and immediate change-over to 32 hours for shift workers, overnight stays and employees with at least three arduousness criteria;
  • seniors: from the age of 50 and a number of years of exposure to arduous work, setting up of part-time seniors (improved part-time agreements);
  • in accordance with European legislation, on-call time must be separate from the supervised rest time.Work less whatever the level of autonomy and responsibility;
  • strictly regulate day packages to guarantee the right to health and safety and maximum working hours;
  • institute compulsory negotiation on the use of digital tools. It is necessary to set up collective means for assessing the time and the load of the employees;
  • presentation to the social and economic committee of an evaluation of the working time of employees by CSP and by sector, and summaries of data from individual interviews on workload;
  • reinforce the regulation of teleworking and mobile work (presumption of industrial accident, system of evaluation of time and workload, limitation of the time slots during which the employee can be reached);
  • strengthen regulations on professional travel (presumption of occupational accident, travel time considered as working time, compulsory compensation);
  • validation of the years of study for the calculation of pension rights;
  • increase the days of reduction in working time, for employees on a day pass, increase the number of reference days to 200. Work less: a social and civic issue. The results of the reduction in working hours to 35 hours revealed great inequalities in the use of this reduction in working hours.

Obviously, this was different according to the level of salary, the professional social category, or the sex of the employee. The reduction in working hours must be a factor in reducing inequalities between women and men and allow for better work-life balance.
The reduction in working time must benefit everyone, be a factor of emancipation, real access to leisure and culture, the possibility of being an actor or actress in the city, regardless of the salary or the family situation.
The reduction in working time should not be misplaced, which requires discussing:

  • devote time to vocational training: for the CGT, this must represent 10% of working time;
  • allocate days for international cooperation missions;
  • allocate time for activities of general interest (environmental, teaching, etc);
  • extend paternity and maternity leave; allocate time for parenting; allocate time for family caregivers.

It goes without saying that Sunday must be the day of rest common to the majority of employees.
It is only by allowing workers, those who produce wealth, to live and work better that we can revive the economy in this period of crisis, not by exploiting them to the point of jeopardising their purchasing power … and above all their health.