Georgia: Following a protest by ambulance crews on Friday, Georgia’s Emergency Situation Coordination and Urgent Assistance Centre has announced that it will lower working hours for its employees while keeping their salaries unchanged.
Doctors, nurses and drivers of the service held a protest earlier today, demanding a doubling of their wages and “decent” working conditions.
They said that their salaries had not increased despite meetings with health officials who made promises, and they criticised the Government’s recent decision to eliminate state supplements given to professionals during the pandemic.
The Centre said in a statement that reducing staff working hours would have a “severe impact” on their productivity and medical service quality. It further stated that the ambulance crew’s monthly salary ranged from $1,200 ($420/€391) to $2,000 ($699/€652).
Employee working conditions are being improved, according to the Centre, which also noted that their equipment is being upgraded on a regular basis.
It also said work on providing additional remuneration for leaves was also ongoing, expressing willingness to continue discussions with staff in a working format “to take into account the best interests of the citizens of Georgia and the staff of the Centre.”
Emergency calls had been “significantly reduced” as a result of the pandemic’s positive trends – contradicting statements by ambulance crews – and pointed out that salaries of the professionals had not decreased since the end of the acute pandemic period.