Flemish Welfare Minister Wouter Beke (CD&V) will sit around the table with the unions and employers in the Flemish care sector next Wednesday, on 8 July. The staff of the Flemish care sector – including residential care centers, among other things – are currently still missing the 300 euro consumption check.
If the unions demand such a check, Minister Beke wants to discuss that, he said in parliament. Next Wednesday there is a meeting with Prime Minister Jan Jambon and the core of the government, the minister has answered questions from Hannes Anaf (SP.A), Ann De Martelaer (Groen), Suzy Wouters (Vlaams Belang) and Lise Vandecasteele (PVDA) in the Flemish Parliament. In addition to residential care centers, youth care, home care and institutions for people with disabilities also fall under the Flemish system. They are also currently out of the boat as far as the premium is concerned.
All parties are calling for better ‘structural support’ for personnel in the sector. According to opposition party SP.A, there is also ‘discrimination’ between the federal health care staff, who receive a consumption check of 300 euros, and the Flemish health care staff, who do not receive such a one-off check. ‘If you fly a Flemish flag on 11 July, you will receive a party voucher of 180 euros, but the Flemish heroes of health care do not receive a one-off premium. That is a shame, ‘says Hannes Anaf.
According to Minister Beke, the unions themselves are not asking for such a one-off premium. During the consultation, it is examined what exactly the concerns and needs in the sector are. On the basis of that consultation, the minister wants to see what additional support measures are needed.
Earlier this week, a survey found that one in five caregivers thinks about quitting. The corona crisis has exacerbated a number of existing pain points for staff in the healthcare sector: too high a workload, too low a staffing level and too low a salary.