THE Valencian Health Ministry has withdrawn a legal challenge to a collective employment agreement which prompted staff at Torrevieja Hospital to vote for strike action a week ago.
Regional Health Minister, Miguel Minguez has instructed government lawyers to file a challenge launched at an Elche court last September over the deal that was struck with the hospital’s private management company in 2020.
The next hearing was set for September 18.
The argument was that the agreement contained ‘clauses that could be harmful to the government’, but the Health Ministry says the situation has ‘changed’ since the lawsuit was filed.
Torrevieja Hospital and the associated health department returned to public management in October 2021 following the ending of the deal with Ribera Salud.
96% of health department workers in a ballot turnout of just over 50% backed a walkout in the middle of the busy Easter holiday period which would have hit Torrevieja Hospital and local medical centres.
Unions say the u-turn from Valencia only happened because of the strike threat which they will still maintain until they get official confirmation of the lawsuit withdrawal from the Valencian government’s legal department.
Health department staff are staging a protest in Torrevieja on Saturday over pay and conditions which unions claim are causing people to leave their jobs.