Warning strike at the Berlin Charité: 2,700 doctors called for strike today

First strike in more than 15 years

Hundreds of Charité doctors went on warning strike

dpa/Fabian Sommer

Video: rbb24 | 05.10.2022 | Bild: dpa/Fabian Sommer

Doctors walking out? That has not been the case at the renowned Berlin Charité for 15 years. On Wednesday, after more than two and a half years of pandemic stress, it will be time again. Among other things, they demand higher wages.

Doctors at the Berlin Charité went on a warning strike on Wednesday for better pay and more agreeable working conditions. After a call from the Marburger Bund trade union, they gathered for a rally in the morning near the high-rise bed in Mitte.

Many of the strikers wore white coats and whistles. Posters read phrases like: “Saving lives every day without having one yourself”, “No wife, no children, not even time for Tinder” and “Come in and burn out”. Around 1,000 people attended the rally, according to the union.

“I love my job, as probably does everyone who is in this place today,” said intensive care physician Tim Arnold. But the current conditions cannot go any further. “I’m fed up, I don’t want to be a hero anymore,” he added.

First doctors’ strike in more than 15 years

According to the union, the call for a warning strike extends to around 2,700 doctors at the Mitte, Wedding and Steglitz locations. According to the union, an emergency service will be provided. According to the Marburger Bund, it has been the first time in more than 15 years that doctors at Europe’s largest university clinic have gone on strike.

“The extent of the strike participation was not specifically communicated to us in advance,” said the Charité on Wednesday. Due to the warning strike, interventions should have been postponed. Efforts are being made to keep the restrictions as low as possible.

Jana Reichardt, a member of the Marburger Bund and the collective bargaining commission, criticized on Wednesday that there had been “attempts at intimidation” in the run-up to the warning strike. Employees were put under pressure. On request, the Charité announced that the board “of course respects the constitutional guarantee of the right to strike”. “There was absolutely no influence on our part and it is clearly and unequivocally rejected.”

Clinic offer for union not sufficient

The reason for the warning strike is negotiations about the further development of the company collective agreement. The core demands of the union include a linear salary increase of 6.9 percent, additional remuneration levels for specialists and senior physicians and more reliable duty rosters. In addition, a maximum of four on-call times per month should have to be provided and staggered surcharges should be paid for short-term help. Reference is also made to the high burdens in the course of the pandemic.

A Charité spokesman said on request that the negotiations were “very complex but constructive” due to a large number of issues. A good solution for all sides is sought. The Charité presented a “differentiated package with offers for working hours and relief, further and advanced training, reducing bureaucracy and equality”.

With around 21,000 employees across the group, the Charité is one of the largest employers in Berlin.

Protest week of the Brandenburg general practitioners

In Brandenburg, meanwhile, the protest of family doctors continues. Many of them only offer limited office hours this week. The physicians are thus protesting against the federal government’s plans. Accordingly, certain services for new patients should no longer be paid for in the future.

It is also criticized that only hospitals should receive financial support from the state because of high inflation and energy costs. Especially after the additional burdens caused by the corona pandemic, the colleagues felt unfairly treated by the planned savings, said the chairwoman of the Brandenburg General Practitioners Association, Karin Harre, on Tuesday to rbb.

Instead, politicians must continue to improve the framework conditions financially. According to Harre, doctors who want to settle in Brandenburg should have planning security. You would have to be sure that the panel doctor system can reimburse the increased costs, for example for the staff.

Broadcast: rbb24, October 5th, 2022, 1:00 p.m