Disappointed with government announcements, midwives prepare to resume strike action

Olivier Véran announced Thursday evening a bonus of 100 euros and a revaluation of monthly salaries of the same amount.

After long months of discussions with midwives, the Ministry of Health announced Thursday evening a salary increase of 100 euros. This increase comes as a catch-up of the increases granted to all hospital staff within the framework of the “Ségur de la santé”. Midwives were indeed the big forgotten ones in these salary increases.

But for the main concerned, these 100 euros do not provide an answer to the growing unease of the profession and are far from sufficient. “What was announced yesterday is not going in the right direction at all. For us, it’s a disaster», Deplores the National Trade Union Organization of Midwives (ONSSF).

SEE ALSO – “Angry midwives”: they demonstrate in Paris for better wages (02/24/2021)

The question of status at the heart of the anger

First, the government has not taken up the issue of changing the status of midwives, which is nevertheless requested by the entire profession. “We only wish to benefit from the same status as other hospital medical bodies, such as doctors or pharmacists», Explains the ONSSF to Figaro. For the moment, the profession of midwife is supervised by the hospital public service in the same way as the paramedical staff and therefore depends on the hierarchy of the hospital, which does not allow “to respect the ethical obligation of independence of the profession“Vis-à-vis the employer, details the union.

The status of hospital practitioner, from which, for example, doctors, surgeons or pharmacists benefit, would allow midwives to free themselves from the hierarchical authority of the hospital which does not apply to these professionals – they nevertheless remain subject to the organizational authority of the director to ensure the functioning of the establishment. This change of status would also allow more adapted training, in connection with their profession, the exercise of a mixed activity between the hospital and the liberal or the recognition of research in maieutics at the University. According to the ONSSF, the only revaluation of the salary “does not solve the problem of attractiveness of the profession“.

The issue of staffing was not addressed either: “the teams are increasingly busy, we have been told of a situation where 3 midwives had to ensure 11 births in 12 hours. With the new announcements nothing will change», Laments the union. The National Council of the Order of Midwives shares the observation: “In Guyana, for example, there is currently a shortage of 48 midwives to operate hospitals properly.“.

Midwives also lament the government’s lack of understanding: “We have been listened to but not understood», Assures the ONSSF. On the side of the National Council of the Order of Midwives, the conclusion is identical. “Olivier Véran claims that we are not united on the issue of status, but this is false. Most of us apply for hospital practitioner status», Assures Isabelle Derrendinguer, General Secretary of the order.

Misunderstanding the logic of government

Two main reasons have been put forward to explain this objection to trade union organizations by the government on the statute. First, the change would lead to a revision of the index tables which could cost the government dearly. But the ONSSF rejects this argument: “We do not necessarily ask to be paid like doctors, there may be a new grid specific to midwives within the status of hospital practitioner.Another element of response reported by the union, the government would not have a sufficient legislative window to pass a change of status before the presidential election.

Midwives also deplore an increase in salaries “insufficientAnd which lacks clarity. According to the Order of Midwives, this does indeed concern “than staff working in hospitalsAnd lack of ambition. “We cannot accept that a midwife with a doctorate earns 1400 € per month.To make the demands of professionals heard, an indefinite strike notice will be filed this Friday by the ONSSF.


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