Human Rights in Ukraine

21.05.2000 | A.Gritsyshin, Ternopil
Social and economic rights

Physicians has gone on strike


For a long time physicians of Ternopil region have tolerated silently the violation of their Constitutional rights, but their patience ended. On 29 December 1998 they went on strike. The reasons are more than sufficient: during this year they got on the average one month salary in cash. It does not mean that the rest of the money was transferred to their bank accounts: they got their salaries by food and, including vodka, at a higher price than in shops. There are pay arrears since 1996. The total debts to medical workers exceed 26 million grivnas.

Medical workers are not alone in their fight. Strikes, hunger strikes, pickets, meetings are carried by teachers. Some of the bravest protesters handed complaints to the court. The authorities press on the most active. For example, teachers of the Buchatskiy district went on a strike. There were no lessons during four months. The region authorities came to the rebels, pressed on them properly and gave each 14 grivnas. The teachers resumed their work. It is not surprising: because of the lack of funds the school personnel is reduced and nobody wants to be sacked.

Not only physicians and teachers suffer without salaries. The total debt in salaries and wages in Ternopil region equals 162 million grivnas. Besides, the administration owes 81 million grivnas to pensioners.

Most of the pensioners in the region are peasants living in the country. Many of them do not remember how banknotes look. Nobody is going to remind.

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