The Workers Commissions (CC.OO) have announced the first of a series of strikes by national health workers on March 15, in protest at a ministry decision to exclude them from pay rises established for functionaries in the Balearics. The increase is an average of 370 euros for this year and 492 euros for next year, to compensate the loss of purchasing power of local functionaries. The CC.OO criticised the other unions, the UGT and STEI, for not doing anything about the situation. A union spokesman said that the government's attitude showed that it wanted to stop health workers transferred after it took on responsibility for the health service from benefiting from these increases. He also accused the local health authorities for failing to equalise pay and working conditions between Balearic workers and those who previously worked for Insalud. The strike threat was not the only worry of Balearic health minister Aina Salom. She was slammed by the conservative Popular Party for saying that the Psychiatric Hospital was like a “concentration camp” when the conservatives were in power. They called for a retraction, which was not forthcoming. The discussion arose during the plenary session in Parliament, when the opposition asked questions about the coalition government's health policy. Salom was asked if she was going to sack Josep Carbonero, the controversial head of Gesma. She said no, as he was very efficient and had her confidence. Insults such as “fascist” were bandied about until finally the Speaker called for order.

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