Monday, April 8

Ambuvital asks for six months to apply the new health transport day in Extremadura

Meeting between the company and health transport unions in Mérida. / JM ROMERO

The unions wait to receive the proposal in writing to grant their approval

John Soriano

Ambuvital, the sanitary transport concession company in Extremadura, has asked the union representatives for a period of six months to apply the Supreme Court ruling that reduces the hours of ambulance workers by considering face-to-face guards as effective time. The unions have been in favor of the proposal, but are waiting to receive the document in writing to grant their approval.

The UGT headquarters in Mérida has hosted the meeting between the company and unions to analyze how the Supreme Court ruling that leaves the sector out of the regulation of special working days is applied. This implies that employees must perform a maximum of 1,800 hours a year, well below the current ones, which in some cases reach 2,700 thanks to the shifts that are carried out in the workplace. This implies a considerable reduction in payroll, but also the need to increase the workforce to maintain the same services, which affects the economic viability of the current contract.

Ambuvital, which manages the service with an emergency contract until the Board awards the tender for four years, has initially requested that the current conditions be maintained until a new agreement is approved, whose negotiation begins tomorrow. However, the unions affirm that the sentence must be applied now, despite the salary reduction, since they have been demanding the reduction to 1,800 annual hours for years.

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Finally, an agreement has been reached by which the company will have six months, until the new agreement is agreed and the four-year tender is awarded, to restructure the workforce and adapt to the Supreme Court ruling. Eduardo Guardado, representative of Ambuvital, points out that this agreement will be drawn up to be signed with the unions.

Lander González, president of the works council of Ambuvital in the province of Cáceres for USO, points out that the representatives of the workers will wait to see that proposal in writing to analyze it. In principle, it would only affect face-to-face guard services (basic and advanced life support, PAC and scheduled ambulances), although the unions consider that it should also be extended to personnel who carry out guard duty located at home.

In any case, the unions hope that the Supreme Court ruling “will be applied as soon as possible”, since they consider that it improves working conditions despite the fact that it implies a reduction in salary by losing the shift and night shift supplements, which may represent about 500 euros per month. But Lander González is confident that the negotiation of the agreement will allow an increase in the base salary to compensate for this loss, since he affirms that currently the sector in the region has the lowest salaries in the country.

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