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Healthcare Union sounds alarm bells over labour conditions

Many employees in the Swiss healthcare sector are part-time and feel under increasing pressure at the work place 


The leading Unia trade union has called for more money and personnel to improve working conditions in Switzerland’s healthcare sector.

Presenting a manifesto for the launch of their nationwide campaign, Unia leaders on Wednesday urged politicians to protect care staff from cost-cutting measures and inhumane labour conditions.

Union members criticised that it was increasingly difficult to spend enough time with patients due to time pressure and bureaucratic work.

The union also wants to increase the number of collective work agreements in the sector.

It warned that worsening labour conditions were leading to more personnel falling ill and giving up the profession.

The number of people working in the healthcare sector continued to grow by 26,000 last year, according to Unia.

Data provided by the Federal Statistical Office for 2008 show that more than 540,000 people were working in the sector, nearly half of them in part-time jobs. The figure includes nurses, therapists, midwives, technical personnel and doctors.

Urs Geiser, and agencies

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