Nurses to get permanent status in civil service
The Public Health Ministry has agreed to upgrade the employment status of 22,641 nurses throughout the country, from temporary employees to permanent civil servants, over the next three years - giving them full benefits previously denied them.
- Published: 3/12/2012 at 04:04 PM
- Newspaper section: topstories
About 1,000 professional nurses from state hospitals rally outside Government House in October demanding to know why a promise to give them civil servant employment status has not yet been delivered. Photo by APICHART JINAKUL.
The agreement heads off a planned strike over the New Year holiday by 17,000 temporary nurses in support of long-standing demands for permanent status and full civil sevice benefits.
The decision was reached at a meeting on Monday attended by representatives of nurses on temporary hire led by Sarawut Thidee, Kanchana Chanthai, director of the Nurses Office of the Office of the Permanent Secretary of Public Health, and Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra at Government House.
Public Health Minister Pradit Sintawanarong, permanent health secretary Narong Sahamethapat and other officials also attended the meeting.
Dr Pradit said at a subsequent press conference that it was agreed at the meeting that the Public Health Ministry would upgrade a total of 22,641 temporary nurses to positions as permanent civil servants working for the ministry over the next three years.
This means that each year 7,547 nurses, on average, under temporary employment contracts will be upgraded to permanent civil servant status, starting early 2013. After three years, a total of 22,641 temporary-hire nurses, or about 75% of the total, would become civil servants with permanent employment status.
There are now 30,188 temporarily-employed nurses at state hospitals throughout the country. Those who are not promoted to to permanent civil servant status will be upgraded to employees of the Public Health Ministry with welfare benefits they are not entitled to while serving as temporary nurses. The change will come in early 2013, he said.
Dr Pradit said the upgrading of the nurses' status would be tabled for cabinet approval on Dec 11 and would come into effect soon after that.
Dr Narong, the public health permanent secretary, said the criteria for promoting temporary nurses to permanent civil servants would include their length of service and the workload at each hospital. Nurses at hospitals in remote areas in rural communities also stand to get priority.
The Nurses Association of Thailand earlier threatened to call a strike of 17,000 temporary nurses from Jan 1-3, 2013 in support of long-standing demands for permanent employment status and benefits. The association has now called called off the strike, pending formal cabinet approval on Dec 11.
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- Writer: Online Reporters
- Position: Online Reporters