Consensus to move forward together

Good news for the professionals of the Ribera Salud group. Recently, the second Collective Bargaining Agreement for the Health Department of Torrevieja was unanimously signed with all union representatives; and yesterday also saw unanimous closure of the fourth Collective Bargaining Agreement for professionals of La Ribera Health Department. Both agreements provide a unique framework of security and stability in labour relations which will undoubtedly benefit our professionals and the public health system. This also places us at the forefront of people management within the sector, as the agreements respond to the major commitment of our group for collective bargaining agreements that encompass the particularities of our innovative management model.

Although many warned us when the model first started about the huge risk that collective bargaining agreements could represent, I recognise that maintaining direct dialogue with our professionals through their union representatives has been enriching and is in line with to our philosophy of ongoing improvement. So from here I should like to express my gratitude to all the trade unions represented in the Health Departments of Torrevieja and La Ribera, -CC.OO., CEMSATSE, CSIF, SIMAP, UGT and USAE-, for their desire for dialogue shown during this lengthy and arduous negotiation, as well as the representatives of Ribera Salud spearheaded by the Director of Human Resources, Salvador Sanchis.

The signing of the two agreements by all the trade unions shows that we at Ribera Salud continue to rely, above all else, on the understanding, consensus and social peace, after several months in which these principles have been questioned from different spheres. Because what really occupies and concerns us is to continue to provide excellent healthcare to the more than 700,000 citizens who place their trust in us every day. And this is only possible with excellent management of people that acknowledges the work of almost 6,000 professionals, rewarding best practices and providing employment conditions that enable professional development and career advancement. So, thanks to this ability to understand we have managed to achieve significant improvements for professionals, which I shall now summarise below.

Job stability and security, with a commitment to full-time employment of 88% in Torrevieja and 95% in La Ribera.

The reduction of working time, for example in La Ribera in 2018 professionals will enjoy nine days to do whatever they like.

Promoting measures targeted at the reconciliation of personal and professional life; for example in La Ribera leave has been extended for the care of children up to six years of age, and in Torrevieja you can enjoy wedding leave or civil union leave up to five months following the formalities.

The focus on transparency and equal opportunities for men and women and a commitment to development and internal promotion through a procedure agreed with representatives of the workers and which responds to performance assessment of people, thus avoiding the opacity and lack of criteria that are not exclusively based on years of service and which, unfortunately, lead to a perversion of the system, as we have seen with cases that have been published in recent weeks on recruitment in the public health system.

I’m happy because the consensus has superseded prejudices, the desires for confrontation, the sectarian positions to which we are sometimes so used to in healthcare. We in our group have always been committed to the search for common ground, focused on looking ahead. Once again I must insist that the public-private partnership is not a question of ideology but of intelligence. The challenges we face from public health are such that none of us can be excluded. Between all of us we need to see how we can join forces. Because we are all important when it comes to proposing contemporary solutions, cutting-edge solutions. And when it is clear, indeed, that what really matters is the welfare of the citizen above any other interests, we know that it is possible to reach agreements, as has been clearly demonstrated by the signing of these Agreements.

In healthcare it is not about being the biggest, it is about being the best. And to be the best, you have to have the best professionals alongside you. And to have the best professionals, you need to have the capability for dialogue, for discussion, in order to find meeting points when it comes to providing top-level professional conditions. This is our goal: to create the best space for professionals to develop themselves to the full. Because only then we will have the guarantee of complying with our target, which is none other than offering excellent public healthcare. Hopefully this fact serves as an example for those who put prejudices first to learn that consensus is always better than confrontation.

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