French nursing home workers protest staff shortages, cost cuts
admin • January 31, 2018 • 2952
French nursing home carers went on strike on Tuesday saying staff shortages were leaving them unable to care adequately for patients.
The strike was called by most major unions who are demanding better funding and more staff to bring the patient-carer ratio to 1:1 — in line with government recommendations from 2006 — as opposed to 1:6 on average.
“We don’t have the time to stay, to take their hand, to talk with the person, to try and listen to them. Because we’re also there to provide a bit of humanity. First and foremost it’s a humanitarian job. We need to listen to them. Perhaps some of them don’t have any children. We are their children. We don’t have time. We don’t have the time. You see them looking at you and you go home and you’re crying or you’re feeling upset because you feel like you’ve wasted your day for low pay,” said CFDT Nurse Representative Union Nacera Boudriche.
Protesters said they had a matter of minutes to wash, dress and feed each resident, and frequently did not have the time to spend talking to the patients, many of whom suffer from loneliness.
A delegation of the strikers was received at the health ministry though not by the minister Agnes Buzyn, who answered questions in parliament saying the government had promised 100 million euros for increased staffing.
“Today as I arrived at the [health] ministry I became aware of how hard it was working in an old people’s home, and in the social security finance bill 2018 we have taken account of what’s needed in terms of staffing by adding 100 million euros to the budget allotted to the care provided by staff in old people’s homes, said the French health minister.
The workers have long complained about increasingly difficult conditions at semi-public nursing homes, and sent a letter in October to President Emanuel Macron warning of an “explosive situation.” — Reuters
Iraqi security forces opened fire on thousands of demonstrators who defied a curfew in Baghdad on Thursday (October 3) and exchanged fire with gunmen in a southern city, killing two people on the third day of nationwide anti-government protests.
The protests, in which at least 27 have now been killed and over 600 wounded, began over unemployment and poor services but have escalated into calls for a change of government and pose one of the worst security challenges in years.
They appear to be independent of any political party and seemingly took the security forces by surprise.
At least 4,000 protesters gathered in Baghdad’s Tayaran Square and attempted to march onto the central Tahrir Square only to be met with open fire and heavy tear gas.
Police used live ammunition in the Zaafaraniya district of Baghdad, where a protester was shot dead, and there were protests in the northwestern Shula district.
Police said protesters had fired at them in the town of Rifaen near the southern city of Nassiriya where seven people were killed overnight and one more was killed on Thursday.
Fifty people were wounded in Rifae, including five police, they said. (REUTERS)
Hundreds of Palestinians demonstrated in the West Bank on Wednesday (September 4) to demand legal protection for women, after a 21-year-old woman died last month in what rights groups say was a so-called honor killing.
A Palestinian Authority investigation is underway into the death of Isra’a Ghrayeb, a make-up artist who activists say was beaten by male relatives after a video posted on Instagram allegedly showed a meeting between her and a man who had proposed to her.
According to Palestinian media reports, Ghrayeb sustained serious spinal injuries after falling from a balcony in her home in Beit Sahour, near Bethlehem, while trying to escape an assault by her brothers. She died on August 22.
At least 18 Palestinian women have been killed this year by family members angered at perceived damage to their honor, which may involve fraternizing with men or any infringement of conservative values regarding women, according to the General Union of Palestinian Women and Feminist Institutions.
Ghrayeb’s family has denied the accusations. They said in a statement that Ghrayeb had a “mental condition” and died “after she had a heart attack, following an accidental fall into the (family’s) courtyard”.
The circumstances surrounding Ghrayeb’s death have stirred outrage within the Palestinian territories and on social media, with rights activists demanding action against the alleged perpetrators and legal protection for women under the hashtag #JustceforIsraa.
In the West Bank city of Ramallah, female demonstrators held signs reading: “We are all Isra’a” and “My body is my property. I don’t need your supervision, your care, your honor.”
Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said this week that several people had been detained for questioning over Ghrayeb’s death as part of the inquiry by the Palestinian Authority (PA), which exercises limited self-rule in the Israel-occupied West Bank.
The Palestinian penal code dates to the 1960s and has been criticized for inadequate protection for women and lenient penalties for men who kill them in honor crimes. (REUTERS)
Politician tensions spilled over in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince on Tuesday (September 03), after opposition supporters reportedly ransacked offices in parliament to impede a session with lawmakers.
As tires burnt in the streets, opposition supporters and opposition lawmakers reportedly turned over tables and damaged property in a parliament building.
The incident comes after months of protests.
Haiti, the first nation to be formed by former slaves in 1804, is the poorest country in the Americas, its economic progress stunted by a long history of political instability, disastrous foreign interventions, and mismanagement. (REUTERS)
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