State doctors to appeal salary cuts

Doctors at state hospitals are ready to lodge a mass appeal against cuts to their salaries that have been imposed as part of troika-mandated reforms over the past two years.

The union representing doctors at public hospitals in Athens and Piraeus (EINAP) on Wednesday briefed institutions across Attica on its decision to coordinate with the union representing doctors at state hospitals elsewhere in Greece (OENGE) in submitting collective appeals against the cuts.

OENGE president Dimitris Varnavas told Kathimerini that a total of 45 appeals from local unions across the country have been gathered and are to be submitted to administrative courts within the next 10 days. From there, the appeals are to go to the Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court, which recently upheld similar appeals by the country’s police and armed forces employees. It is expected that the appeals will be heard in the fall.

The doctors hope the vindication of the police and military staff will act as a legal precedent, leading to cuts to their salaries being deemed unconstitutional too. They claim to have suffered sharper reductions, to the tune of 40 percent in some cases.

Meanwhile doctors joined civil servants from other sectors in protesting an evaluation scheme for public sector staff in central Athens on Wednesday. Some burned evaluation forms outside the Health Ministry. A delegation met with Minister Makis Voridis, who reassured protesters that the evaluation process does not necessarily lead to layoffs. But unionists were unmoved and said they would continue with their protests.