Brussels council, social services and public hospital staff to strike on Thursday

Staff that work for the 19 municipal and social  services councils in the Brussels-Capital Region as well as those that work in the public hospitals that are part of the Iris group plan to stage a 24-hour strike on Thursday 8 November. In a joint press statement released on Wednesday morning the unions say that pressure of work on the members is simply too high and that they receive “a miserable wage” in exchange.  

The Christian trades union’s Rudy De Coster told journalists “Colleagues that do comparable jobs in Flanders or Wallonia earn between 10% and 15% more.

Mr De Coster says that talks designed to resolve the dispute have encountered difficulties. "At the end of September we sent a list of our demands to the Brussels First Minister Rudi Vervoort (Francophone socialist). There was a short two hour strike on 11 October, but it was to no  avail".   

The unions say that the "logcial next step" is to stage a demonstration.  "We have issued a strike notice to allow our members to take part in the demostration", Mr De Coster said.

Staff that work for the municipalities, social services councils and public hospitals want a big pay rise.  

“Colleagues that do comparable jobs in Flanders or Wallonia earn between 10% and 15% more”, Mr De Coster added.