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Minister: Health workers to end strike

Feb. 27, 2013 5:44 P.M. (Updated: March 1, 2013 7:59 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Health workers will end their strike on Thursday following an agreement between their union and the Palestinian Authority, the minister of health said Wednesday.

Hani Abdeen said he met with union representatives on Wednesday, and they agreed medical staff would return to regular work on Thursday.

"We agreed to increase the number of employees in hospitals and medical centers, a demand by both the ministry and the trade unions," Abdeen told Ma'an.

The ministry and the union also came to an understanding over the risk bonuses health sector employees are entitled to under Palestinian law, Abdeen said.

The PA also agreed to reimburse health workers' transport costs, and to put in place a promotions and replacement system similar to that used by the ministry of education, he added.

Health workers went on general strike on Sunday, decreasing their numbers and treating only emergency cases.

The PA cabinet on Tuesday said it respected the right of unions to strike, but said citizens' needs must also be respected and state institutions must be protected from chaos.

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