Breach in the mediation between KS and the Norwegian Medical Association – VG

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SAY NO TO SOLUTION PROPOSALS: President of the Norwegian Medical Association Marit Hermansen believes they have gone to great lengths in mediation. She promises that a strike will not endanger life and health. Photo: Fredrik Varfjell / NTB

The Norwegian Medical Association and KS did not reach an agreement with the Ombudsman on Thursday night. It is now planned for a strike from 26 October.

The core of the disagreement between the doctors and the municipal sector is the special agreement, which regulates outpatient care, community medicine and working conditions for newly qualified doctors.

Background: Can be extensive medical strike

In particular, the Norwegian Medical Association has emphasized that the workload for doctors in the emergency department is too great, and that this affects both the GP scheme and the emergency department. They will therefore have restrictions on how much emergency room work can be imposed on them.

– The pandemic has nothing to do with these negotiations. What we have not achieved in these negotiations has been a disagreement between KS and the Norwegian Medical Association for a long time. The municipalities can impose unlimited shifts beyond full working hours, says president of the Norwegian Medical Association Marit Hermansen to VG, and adds:

– Now the workload in many of the small emergency rooms is so high that this is no longer justifiable. The workload has increased for the entire health service during the pandemic. For GPs, it has been high for a long time, and the emergency room comes on top of a full working week.

– Have no choice

The break in the medical mediation may affect municipal emergency services throughout the country in the weeks ahead, writes NTB. The academics, to which the Norwegian Medical Association is affiliated, have not yet announced how many they will take out in a possible first strike.

– The strike withdrawal will be reported no later than four working days before October 26, Hermansen says to VG.

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Furthermore, she says that it has been a demanding mediation, and that they have gone to great lengths to find a possible solution.

– It has been a difficult mediation, and both parties have spent time, but we have not been able to reach an agreement. We will do everything we can to prevent a third party from being affected by a conflict. We are very aware of the very serious situation the country is in. At the same time, it is difficult to take health personnel on strike without it being noticed, but we will do our utmost not to affect a third party.

In a press release, she says that a strike will not endanger life and health. To VG, she points out that it is still possible to avoid a strike.

– The parties can sit down again at any time, and nothing is more desirable that there is an initiative that allows an agreement to be reached without a conflict. But now we feel that we have no choice, it is a very difficult situation.

UNSPONSIBLE WORK: Tor Magne Johnsen in the General Practitioners’ Association participates in the negotiations. He told VG earlier on Wednesday that the medical crisis in the districts will not be resolved if nothing happens to the workload. Photo: Therese Alice Sanne, VG

KS: – Sorry and disappointing

It was not only the Norwegian Medical Association that negotiated with KS into the night hours on Wednesday, but the entire Academics, of which the Norwegian Medical Association is a part.

The negotiations had a response deadline at midnight, but it was mediated in overtime.

The academics write in a press release that they have chosen to recommend the offer from KS. Their member associations must take a position on the Ombudsman’s solution proposal by 23 October at 3 pm – and the Norwegian Medical Association has already announced that they do not accept this proposal.

– The parties have taken responsibility in a very demanding situation for Norway and Norwegian municipalities and county municipalities, characterized by financial uncertainty as a result of the ongoing pandemic. And then it is unfortunate and disappointing that the Norwegian Medical Association would not be part of the solution, says chief negotiator for KS, working life director Tor Arne Gangsø in a press release.

NEGOTIATION LEADER: Tor Arne Gangsø is the negotiation leader for the municipal sector (KS). Photo: Berit Roald / NTB

KS believes that the doctors’ emergency room requirements would put the entire scheme at risk.

– We have proposed to study whether doctors should be covered by the same protection provisions as other employees in the municipality. The Medical Association has also rejected this. Then we just have to state that the Norwegian Medical Association this time has chosen to say no to all solutions that have been possible for KS to go into. We apologize for that, says Gangsø in the press release.

The Norwegian Medical Association, for its part, believes that KS has not agreed to what they believe are necessary measures to ensure doctors protection against unlimited work in the emergency room.

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