A group of nurses in Gilan province held a protest rally in front of the central headquarters of the local University of Medical Sciences, on May 9, 2020. The protesters were demanding official employment.
After the Coronavirus outbreak, we saw that nurses were being hired in the private sector with 89-day contracts. This is a contracting method that does not respect the rights of nurses.
One of the protesters announced, “We work like the rest of the nurses, caring for Coronavirus patients, but we do not have the same rights or benefits.”
According to the Nursing Information website, nurses who left their previous jobs during the Coronavirus crisis to join public hospitals have been offered 89-day contracts.
In Gilan province alone, 267 nurses from private centers, clinics, and neighboring provinces quit their jobs to serve in public hospitals. Volunteers are now told to either sign a three-month temporary contract or leave their current jobs.
The salaries for the service of these nurses during the coronavirus crisis have not yet been paid. (The state-run Mizan news agency – May 9, 2020).
Gilan Province is among the hardest hit during Iran’s Coronavirus pandemic.
The province’s medical staff and hospital nurses, in areas east of Gilan, have pleaded for immediate assistance, citing a lack of basic equipment such as medical and N95, protective goggles and shields, latex and disposable gloves, and other special protective clothing.
Gilan province has 5,700 nurses in public and private centers; of these personnel, 3,900 are working in public institutions while the remainder are in private centers.
Nurses in Gilan’s private hospitals helped public hospital nurses during the most critical days of the Covid-19 outbreak. Despite the lack of proper benefits, these nurses worked during high-risk shifts, sometimes for up to 16 hours, without adequate equipment. Now, it seems, they are even at risk of losing their former jobs.
Earlier, 30 staff members of the Abu Ali Sina Hospital in Shiraz were fired. They had protested a 50 percent reduction in their salaries (The state-run Salamat News website – May 10, 2020).