There has been a state of emergency at Berlin clinics for months. After months of collective bargaining conflicts, the emergency services are particularly affected by this: almost a quarter of the 38 Berlin emergency services log out in the course of a day, meaning that they then accept no or only very few patients.
In particular, the larger emergency departments in Mitte, Neukölln and the north-west of Berlin reported several times a week this summer that they would not be able to take care of any new cases for hours or even until the next day the entire clinical operation. The Neukölln left-wing faction in the district assembly (BVV) reported with reference to non-named (and therefore not independently verifiable) employees that, especially at the subcontractor Viva Clean, many employees would call in sick permanently or resign.
The deficiency is said to be so serious that patient rooms, wards and operating rooms would not be wiped for weeks and instead the nursing staff would have to do the cleaning themselves. The allegations could not be verified independently.
The employees are said to have drawn attention to the situation with a protest last weekend. In addition to the emergency described above, employees at the rescue center, among other things, would also report a lack of surgical equipment and other work equipment. With a resolution in today’s BVV, the left want to put pressure on the Senate, which represents the state of Berlin as the owner of Vivantes.
A spokeswoman for Vivantes admitted on request that there was a “temporary staff shortage” at the cleaning company, which was due to increased Covid diseases and the holiday season. However, all premises “that are to be cleaned will continue to be cleaned in full and as prescribed,” it said.
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The area plans for cleaning are currently being adjusted to ensure hygiene. Administration areas, stairways and unused rooms are currently being cleaned less frequently. At the same time, it was said that Vivantes was already fully implementing the new collective agreement – contrary to what the left faction claimed.
Since the middle of the year, the “employees of the subsidiaries have been paid according to the new tariff, retrospectively from January 1.” Vivantes wants to attract more staff for the subsidiaries with a broad recruiting campaign.