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'Historic' sectoral agreement for nurses, ECG technicians, signed

A new sectoral agreement for nurses, midwives and ECG technicians was signed on Tuesday, ending a period characterised by protracted talks and industrial action.

The government said in a statement that the prime minister attended the signing ceremony with Health Minister Chris Fearne, the Minister for care of the elderly Jo Etienne Abela and MUMN president Paul Pace. Media were not invited for the ceremony.

The government said the 4,000 workers involved will enjoy better salaries and conditions. 

Prime Minister Robert Abela said such agreements reflected the government's commitment to invest heavily in sectors which were most beneficial to society, such as health.

He said the government wanted to encourage more young people to join the nursing profession. It was important that health workers were satisfied in their work and well compensated for their efforts, he said. 

'Historic' agreement 

MUMN president Paul Pace said this was a historic agreement that was beneficial to health workers, and ultimately, to patients.  This agreement would help to motivate health workers, keeping them in the profession and encouraging others to join. 

The agreement would bring about stability in the health sector, and also encourage nurses to further their studies, thanks to allowances for specialisations, he said.