[헬스코리아뉴스 / 임대현] Nursing assistants who are in a poor working environment such as low wages are starting to establish a union in earnest. Nursing assistants make up most of the nursing staff at the clinic level, so attention is focused on the impact on the opening price in the future.
According to the Korea Nursing Assistant Association (Chairman Ok-nyeo Hong) on the 15th, the’Nursing Assistant’s Union Establishment Promotion Committee’ held an online video conference on the 8th and held the ‘1st Nursing Assistant’s Union Establishment Promotion Committee Meeting’.
The promotion committee has a policy to establish a nursing assistant union as an occupational union rather than a corporate union. Since more than half of the nursing assistants are working at the opening of a small business site, this is taking into account the practical limitations that it is difficult to establish a union for each company.
Therefore, it is known that the meeting also focused on the progress report on the composition of the union establishment promotion committee, the report on the results of the advisory meeting on the realization of labor rights, and future plans and directions related to the establishment of a trade union.
In this regard, the Association of Nursing Assistants said, “There was a limit to the association’s activities alone in improving the poor working conditions and working environment that nursing assistants face.” “For this reason, the necessity of establishing a union for nursing assistants has been steadily raised.” It explained the background of the launch of the high promotion committee
As it raised the anchor for the establishment of the union, the activities of the’union establishment promotion committee’ to improve the working environment of nursing assistants and find the right as workers are expected to become active in the future.
The promotion committee first recruits promoters centering on the promotion committee heads of each city and province nationwide, and plans to actively promote the necessity of establishing a nursing assistant union through online media related to nursing assistants, such as newspapers and homepages, and recruit promoters.
The committee also plans to minimize trial and error that may be experienced during the establishment process by continuously discussing the process and schedule for establishing a trade union and conducting external consultations, and through this, it makes clear rules about the nature, activities, and authority of the union. .
Do-yeon Lim, chairman of the’Nursing Assistants’ Union Establishment Promotion Committee’, said, “If the nursing assistants’ union is established, it will be a great help to improve the poor working environment and working conditions that nursing assistants face.” I will try to help resolve the treatment.”
Chairman Hong Ok-nyeo also said, “For the union established to improve the treatment of nursing assistants, the association will also support and cooperate with as much as possible to help establish it.” “Through changes such as the establishment of a nursing assistants union, the health of the people is improved and further health care services I hope that a virtuous cycle of health care environment will be created that improves.”
The’Union Establishment Promotion Committee’, consisting of 14 members including Chairman Do-yeon Lim and 13 committee members recommended by 13 provinces and provinces, held a second meeting at the beginning of next month to discuss more specific procedures and schedules for the establishment of the union, around the end of March. The plan is to start recruiting labor union promoters. Therefore, considering the usual progress of union establishment, it is expected that Korea’s first nursing assistant union could be established as early as the first half of this year and at the latest by the end of the year.
This is the first time that nursing assistants have formed a committee and held a meeting to establish a union. It is interpreted that it is based on the judgment that more than 60% of the nursing assistants on duty cannot postpone the establishment of the union any longer when they are paid the minimum wage or less.
How bad is the working environment for the nursing assistant?
Less wages than daily workers
In fact, according to the results of the 2020 Nursing Assistant’s Wage and Working Conditions Survey conducted by the Nursing Assistants Association last year with the National Assembly Health and Welfare Committee’s Kang Hospital Clinic’s Office (Democratic Party), the working environment such as wages of nursing assistants was lower than that of daily workers.
As a result of the survey, 61.9% of nursing assistants received the minimum wage or less than the minimum wage. This means that more than 6 out of 10 nursing assistants are still living in economic need, which is less than 56,000 won per day. Even if there is no special skill, it is difficult to believe considering that the daily wage of a daily worker is as low as 150,000 won and as much as 200,000 won.
It was found that nursing assistants who work mainly in clinics, oriental clinics, and dental clinics (town hospitals) are not recognized for their career period or long-term service. 48.5% of those with more than 10 years of experience and 39.8% of those with long-term service of 10 years or more were paid less than the minimum wage.
In addition, 43.3% of nursing assistants experienced a disadvantage in that their real wage was rather reduced due to the increase in the minimum wage. Direct wage cuts such as bonuses and welfare expenses were 27.6%, and indirect wage reductions were 15.7% through increased rest hours and shorter working hours.
Nursing assistants were also in poor working conditions. The average working hours per week was 44.1 hours, and 3 out of 10 nursing assistants (29.9%) were found to be working more than 6 days a week. In particular, in the case of lawmakers (63.1%) and 4 or less employees (64.8%), there were more than twice as many nursing assistants who worked for more than 6 days than the overall average.
The average number of vacation days used per year was 8.0 days, far less than the minimum of 15 days of annual leave, and in particular, the number of annual vacation days for less than 4 people, which is not guaranteed by law, was only 5.9 days.
Even for unused vacation, one out of two people (50.2%) received no compensation. 49.2% of respondents said they did not receive the holiday work allowance for holiday work. This clearly shows how serious the exploitation of labor for nursing assistants is. There is literally no’modern slave’.
From human rights violations to sexual harassment
Human rights violations and maternal protection issues against nursing assistants were still serious. Among the survey subjects, 19.6% of the nursing assistants experienced sexual harassment. Compared to the 12.7% experience of sexual harassment and sexual violence (including sexual harassment) in the ‘2019 Health Care Worker Survey’ conducted by the health care union, it can be seen that the rate of sexual harassment by nursing assistants is very high.
When looking at the types of sexual harassment perpetrators, 65.1% of patients and guardians, 16.4% of doctors, and 11.3% of co-workers were in order. Even in the previous year’s survey, 71% of the victims of sexual harassment by patients and guardians reached.
Regarding the experience of harassment in the workplace, which was first surveyed last year, 42.3% said they were bullied. This shows that 4 out of 10 nursing assistants have been harassed, and that bullying in the workplace is common.
Leave before and after childbirth and parental leave are guaranteed by law, and even though employers are punished for non-compliance, only 27.0% and 24.2% of them are free to use, respectively.
“6 out of 10 nursing assistants approve of union establishment”
It is analyzed that the promotion of the union establishment by nursing assistants came from a poor working environment beyond imagination.
In the above survey results, 77.7% of respondents answered that it is necessary to establish a union to improve the rights and interests of nursing assistants, and 62.4% of all respondents showed positive intention to join the union.
In fact, it was found that nursing assistants who worked at workplaces with unions had better wages and working conditions than those who did not. The number of vacation days at workplaces with unions was 4.0 days or more, 11.5 days, and the total annual salary was 8,550,000 won (36.4%) or 32.4 million won.
Kang Hospital Clinic, who jointly conducted this survey, said, “Nursing assistants who are active in the COVID-19 prevention front line are essential health care personnel, but the working environment and labor rights are still not improving.” “Government-level measures need to be prepared. And the legal system should be improved together.”
The ‘2020 Survey on Wages and Working Conditions of Nursing Assistants’ was conducted as a mobile survey from April 11 to April 19, 2020, and was conducted in 17 provinces and cities nationwide (including primary medical institutions), long-term care institutions, and society. 4,252 nursing assistants working at welfare facilities responded.
If so, can the working environment and treatment improvement expected when nursing assistants directly established a union can be achieved? In the end, labor experts point out that it depends on how united nursing assistants are.
In a call with Health Korea News, a labor manager who is helping with the trade union work in the pharmaceutical industry said, “It’s like any trade union, but it depends on how well the members of the union get together in order for workers to be recognized for their rights.” “It doesn’t mean you can’t get what you want by itself.”
In particular, “No matter how the three labor rights (right to organize, collective bargaining, collective action) are guaranteed by the Constitution, if workers do not act with a united force, (the law) is only a useless piece of paper,” he said. Trade unions that do not act and do not end up are likely to collapse or become useless.”
In fact, nurses have also been engaged in union activities centered on the health and medical industry unions for a long time, but the reality is that they are suffering from employment insecurity, such as being fired for union activities. This is no exception to large hospitals.
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