French government to give healthcare workers pay rise worth €7.5 billion

French government to give healthcare workers pay rise worth €7.5 billion

The French government is giving healthcare workers a pay rise totalling €7.5 billion (£6.8 billion) to reward them for their hard work during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

The deal agreed by the government and union parties; Confédération Française Démocratique du Travail (CFDT), Force Ouvrière (FO) and General Confederation of Labour (CGT), will see healthcare staff receive on average an additional €160 (£145) per month by March 2021, dependent on respective branch agreements.

Employees will receive the first average pay increase of €90 (£81) in September 2020, with a further increase of €93 (£84) in March 2022.

In addition, the salary bands of nurses, care managers, and rehabilitation medical professionals will be evaluated in September 2020. Any changes will come into effect from 1 January 2022. Agency hospital workers will also see their pay increase to 110% of minimum wage, which is an average increase of 15%.

Furthermore, the government has also agreed to improve professional training, working time conditions, and plans to enhance occupational safety and health.

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Olivier Véran, minister for solidarity and health, said: “Caregivers fought to save lives without ever getting discouraged, never giving up. Beyond recognition, they were awaiting action. That is the purpose of the agreements signed today, with a historic increase in wages.”

Eve Rescanières, general secretary of the Health and Social Federation at Confédération Française Démocratique du Travail (CFDT), added: “With this agreement, a great step has been taken. We nevertheless regret that it took a global pandemic for the commitment of personnel to be recognised.”