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Nurses refuse overtime as pay cut looms

Emergency room nurses working at Helsinki’s Töölö Hospital have imposed an overtime ban after management decided to cut their pay as of 16 December.

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Image: Jaakko Mäntymaa / Yle

Nurses at Töölö Hospital in Helsinki are refusing any overtime work for the next three weeks after Helsinki University Hospital decided to re-calibrate their pay scales.

Nurses said the move was a blow to their profession and that it was still unclear where the decision originated.

Kaisa Virtanen, chief physician at Töölö ER, said the overtime ban won’t jeopardise patient safety.

”We have made special arrangements to cover any personnel gaps,” she told Yle.

Töölö Hospital did not vote to lower nurses’ salaries, according to Virtanen, who said the unit’s doctors are backing nurses’ industrial action.

”We hope these problems can be solved higher up,” Virtanen added.

In the event of a major emergency, however, the nurses would be required to work extra hours despite the overtime ban.

Nurses in Finland earn a base salary of 2,300 euros, according to Tehy, the Union of Health and Social Care Professionals.

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