On Friday 9 December, the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) is organising a demonstration of healthcare workers in Brussels to call on EU health ministers to enact urgent changes to improve working conditions within the sector.
The protest will unite workers from unions across Europe from 11:30, who will march from Place Madou to the Schuman roundabout in the EU quarter, where ministers will be gathered for an Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council on health.
"It is not so long ago that policymakers across Europe were lauding health and care workers as ‘heroes’ and clapping to show their appreciation. Two years later, these ‘heroes’ are wondering if they have been forgotten," the EPSU said in a press release.
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"Low pay, lack of resources, unsafe staffing, burnout... the situation is becoming urgent. Health and social care workers cannot and will not wait for the system to collapse," the association added, stressing that many workers are already leaving the sector.
They state that Europe needs to recognise the critical need to prioritise public funds for health and care and to remove the sector from all conversations on austerity. "This is the moment to hear from some of the most essential and undervalued workers and amplify their calls for change."
On Friday, health and care workers will march with their work clothes and trade union banners. The demonstration will be attended by large delegations of workers from trade unions from Belgium, Spain, France, Romania, The Netherlands and Germany.