First announced by the United Nations World Day of Care and Support By drawing attention to the important role nurses play, unions around the world are taking action to expand collective bargaining in the sector and improve the quality of care.
Before the United Nations officially recognized it on October 29, a broad coalition of nursing advocacy groups had been created, including UNI and the Nursing Organization IGBThis day comes with a call for more investment in care around the world.
The nursing staff urgently needs more support. A 2021 UNI survey of 3,000 workers found widespread staffing shortages, substandard wages, targeted harassment, and dangerous working conditions. More than half of the nurses surveyed reported that their wages are insufficient and do not cover basic needs; More than 30 percent did not have adequate access to personal protective equipment.
Two years later, not enough has changed. But Nurses Day is an opportunity to show how nursing unions fight and win.
“Nurses around the world – the majority of whom are women, who are often overworked and underpaid – earn more. As we celebrate this day, we recognize the struggles that We are redoubling our commitment to supporting them as they organize to make their voices heard in the workplace.” Alan Sable, Head of Nursing at UNI Global union . “We are using #TogetherWeCare because transforming this sector will only be possible when nurses use their collective power to fight for better working conditions and better quality of care.”
During the COVID-19 crisis, unions in the care sector have proven their importance, leading to improved infection control and better health outcomes. Evidence from several countries, including the UK, shows that care homes with better staffing levels, a key demand of care unions, had fewer coronavirus infections. There have been far fewer deaths and cases from the coronavirus in unionized nursing homes across the United States. This decrease was attributed to improved staffing and access to personal protective equipment (PPE) compared to non-union facilities.
said Christy Hoffman, Secretary General of the UNI World Federation“Nursing workers are not waiting for change, they are demanding it. They now need secure jobs, acceptable staffing ratios, safe working hours, and family-friendly wages. The increase in nursing organizing after the pandemic shows how workers are supporting rebuilding the nursing sector for the benefit of their families and patients.” And their residents.”
UNI affiliates are making progress. in In the Dominican Republic, for example, unions have achieved increased staff training, improved conditions and formalization of jobs in elderly care. In Chile, unions have imposed a “right to rest” for private care workers, recognizing the importance of nursing workers’ mental health.
In the United States, workers recently organized the largest health care strike in the country to demand better wages and better patient care. In the Philippines, Fresenius employees are fighting questionable hiring practices. In Slovenia, disability care assistants staged a historic strike this year to demand better funding and better jobs.
Although these campaigns – and hundreds of others like them around the world – will change jobs and lives, more work is needed. The urgent need to invest in equitable, high-quality, gender-sensitive health and public care systems cannot be overemphasized. With the number of people in need of care expected to rise to 2.3 billion by 2030, we must create 475 million high-quality care jobs to meet this enormous need.
That’s why, on International Nurses Day and every other day, UNI stands with unions around the world to support nursing workers. We know we can win together.
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