Health care unions to push for five percent pay rise

The country’s health and social care unions are pushing for a pay increase next year of five percent, rejecting the 3.5 percent promised by the government. At a press conference Wednesday, union representatives pointed to the low wages earned by those who care for the elderly or disabled, warning of a worsening of quality. Union leader Dagmar Žitníková charged that long term the situation had only grown worse, saying that jobs in the social services were among the most poorly paid. According to Žitníková, government cuts, higher VAT and the weakening of the Czech crown had all affected the sector negatively.