I found this at http://www.warsaw.com/?action=displa...t&index=recent
Polish Nurses Protest Pay
The Associated Press, Sat 16 Dec 2000
WARSAW, Poland (AP)-Hundreds of Polish nurses blocked international railroads and border crossings around the country Saturday as part of mounting protests for higher pay.
About 400 nurses walked across the rails of the Moscow-Berlin route in the central town of Konin for a couple of hours in an effort to force the government into wage talks. One regional train was delayed for about an hour.
Nurses resisted three attempts by police to remove them from the tracks and then left, saying they would block the railroad again if the government does not take their complaints seriously, said Jolanta Piatek, head of the Konin nurses union.
Nurses also blocked border crossings in western Kostrzyn and Slubice on the Polish-German border and in eastern Terespol on the Polish-Belarusian border. Border traffic was suspended.
The nurses at the Terespol crossing carried banners reading ``Governments change, nurses have subsistence wages'' and ``Enough of poverty,'' according to PAP news agency.
The nurses began sporadic protests and sit-ins a month ago, stepping up their action Wednesday when about 50,000 of the country's 250,000 nurses and midwives left their jobs for up to eight hours.
There was widespread cancelation of surgeries, and some hospitals limited admissions to emergency cases.
Nurses make $115 to $205 a month, well below the national average of $454 a month.
The government, which has struggled to reform the health care system it inherited from the old communist regime, so far is willing to discuss only general reforms. Health Minister Grzegorz Opala has said salary issues should be resolved by hospital managers.
But the cash-strapped managers, many who say the government hasn't allocated enough for hospitals and clinics, have been reluctant to open salary negotiations.
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