After a 47-day strike, Korean health care workers win a huge pay rise
After 47 days on strike, more than 1,500 KHMU members at Eulji University Hospital’s (EUH) Daejeon and Seoul campuses won a massive wage hike. The pay rise is part of a landmark agreement with this major private hospital, and was attained because of the worker demonstrations and civil society pressure.
Before this agreement, EUH workers earned significantly less than their peers at other hospitals—as little as 60 percent of what they would make doing same job at a different employer. Nurses with 20 years of experience at EUH earned roughly what entry-level nurses in other private hospitals made.
KHMU and hospital management negotiated a wage increase of 8.6 percent for this year. In the future, a labor-management committee will determine future wage increases.
More than just improvements to pay, workers also gained more stability. The hospital will reduce the number of staff with precarious working situations, such as having a zero-hour contract or hired through an outsourcing agency, to only 10 percent of staff.
KHMU will carry the success of its EUH members to the national tripartite social dialogue where workers, employers, and the government have already agreed on improving the working conditions for the health care sector as well as create thousands of new quality jobs.
KHMU has previously entered into agreements with employers leading to the hiring of 2,227 additional care workers and converting 10,999 irregular or precarious jobs to regular ones at 95 medical institutions throughout Korea.