Despite the realised threat of action from the workers involved, following the legally tabled opposition to their established collective agreement, the Valencia Ministry of Health has said that their will be no unique agreement for Torrevieja, but instead, a single agreement that covers staff at all hospitals where the management structure reverts to public control.
The Minister of Health, Miguel Mínguez, announced that at the request of the three majority unions, “a single negotiation for all” will be carried out the reverted centres, including Torrevieja and Alzira where the process has concluded, and Dénia where it is progressing, and Elche which is in the pipeline, a transcendent issue because there is going to be union proactivity to reach a single agreement. “A single agreement that encompasses the claims of all reverted entities”.
Despite the fact that, according to the minister, this way of negotiating a single agreement is supported by the three majority unions in the Community, the Torrevieja Hospital Works Committee is holding another demonstration at the hospital on Tuesday to demand the negotiation of their agreement. In this sense, Mínguez points out that “it is a last-minute request, we have known about it a week ago. This week the union representatives will contact the sections of each hospital to coordinate the negotiations”.
The truth is that the case of Torrevieja is especially problematic. The Ministry denounced the agreement that is currently in force, inherited from Ribera Salud, which provoked the indignation of the Committee, which took to the streets in a massive demonstration on March 4. That week, a workers’ assembly agreed to go on strike at Easter to demand that withdrawal of the complaint. The Department made a move and announced the withdrawal of the complaint hours before that protest. An announcement that did not serve the Committee, which pointed out that until they saw the court order confirming the withdrawal of the complaint, they would not believe the words of the minister before what they considered continuous broken promises.
Mínguez also referred to this issue, who insisted that “the order has been given, with the approval of the Generalitat’s Attorney’s Office. I do not know the deadlines in which the court will issue the order, but the order has been given. Thus, he pointed out that the order depends on the Social Court of Elche that is handling the case, but that the Consell has already asked the court not to continue with the procedure, whose trial was set for September of this year. At the moment, the Torrevieja Works Council has not ruled on this new joint negotiation strategy, and they already announced last week that the strike was on “standby” pending official proof of the withdrawal of the complaint.
Negotiation, on the other hand, will not be easy. Until now, no agreement has been reached with Alzira, despite the fact that the reversal was carried out five years ago. The one in Torrevieja took place in October 2021. Now all parties will have to agree to lay the foundations for the working conditions of these workers, which will serve as the basis for future reversals that are yet to come.