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UJ nurses strike, demanding better working conditions, pay

By Bahaa Al Deen Al Nawas - Jul 24,2019 - Last updated at Jul 24,2019

AMMAN — Around 40 nurses at the University of Jordan (UJ) Hospital staged a strike on Tuesday morning, demanding improved working conditions and increased pay. 

Jordan Nurses and Midwives Association chief Khaled Rababaa told The Jordan Times that their demands include increasing the incentives given to nurses and midwives from 6 per cent to 15 per cent. 

The strike excluded the emergency, dialysis and pharmaceutical wards, Rababaa said, adding that the goal of the strike is to have their demands met, not to hinder work or cause a commotion. 

In response, UJ President Abdul Karim Qudah said that the salaries and incentives  of nurses and midwives at the UJ Hospital "are the highest in the Kingdom".

The UJ Hospital is treated the same as any college in the university, and its financial and managerial tasks are partly run by the university's president, he said.

"The hospital has 850 nurses, and only 32 were in the strike, and this shows how good their conditions actually are," Qudah said, noting that they have great incentives and benefits, and their children can receive free tuition at the school. 

"The demands in any case require amending a by-law, and if that is to be done, I would need at least a year or two to achieve the demands, because I would need to present everything to the executive committee at the hospital, the deans' council, the university's committee, the board of trustees, the Higher Education Council and the ministry, the Cabinet and the legislation bureau, then back to the Cabinet and finally the Royal Decree and publication in the gazette," Qudah said. 

UJ's president added that the university is facing critical financial conditions paying salaries, noting that everyone on staff has demands, not only nurses. 

Therefore, the demands require dialogue with all entities but "nothing will be achieved in less than a year or two", the university president said, adding that nurses’ situations are “very good” with their incentives, insurance, benefits, bonus salaries and free education for their children. 

During the day, Qudah met with the staff members who carried out the strike and assuring them that their rights will be preserved and their demands will be dealt with in accordance with the hospital's capabilities, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 

Qudah was accompanied by the hospital's director general, Abdul Aziz Alziadat, deputy president for managerial affairs and deans from the medicine and nursing faculties, all of whom toured the hospital’s facilities and checked on patients.

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