Palma.—The Executive Committee of the doctors' union (Simebal) yesterday confirmed that the indefinite industrial action due to start by medical staff today has been called off.

A satisfactory agreement has been reached between the government and unions whereby no pay will now be docked from doctors salaries, and they will not have to repay bonuses which a High Court ruled should have been denied them from 2008 onwards.

New legislation has been proposed, but still pending Parliamentary approval, to break the impasse and make the extra pay totally bona fide. Doctors claim that the bonuses were not so much “extra pay” but funds to bring their salaries in line with their counterparts on the mainland. The President of Simebal, Isidro Torres said yesterday that the successful outcome to the dispute was due to the overwhelming solidarity which the union's 4'000 members in the Balearics had shown. Torres said that the Balearic government had also demonstrated responsibility by moving quickly to legalise the extra pay.

Meanwhile, news came yesterday of the resignation of the Balearic Health Minister Carmen Castro who said that it had been “an honour” to serve in the regional government, “despite the difficult decisions” that had to be taken. She said that her reasons for her resignation were “strictly personal.” She was satisfied that the strike threat had been diffused correctly. Speaking of her successor Antoni Mesquida, Castro said he is a “medical professional” and that she would give him all necessary support.


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