In the letter, to which Portuguese news agency Lusa had access, SEP draws attention to Decree-Law no. 89/2020, of 16 October, which establishes an exceptional system for the creation of legal employment relationships of indefinite or indefinite duration in the bodies, organisms, services and other entities of the Ministry of Health.
On 26 January, the ministry authorised the opening of competitions and fixed the number of jobs to be filled in each institution and in the public administrative sector, the fixed-term public employment contracts are considered to be automatically renewed until the end of the competition procedures.
However, the Regional Health Administrations (ARS) of the Centre and Lisbon and Tagus Valley are not authorised to open competitions, which means, according to the union, that around 1,800 nurses will be made redundant.
"It means that, inadmissibly, all nurses who have established a fixed-term contract between 1 August and 31 December, 2020, and who complete the eight months between 1 April and 31 August, 2021, will be dismissed," the SEP warns in the letter.
Also in the public sector there will be redundancies for nurses who have fixed-term contracts for the period between 18 October and 31 December, 2020 and who complete the eight months between 18 June and 31 August, 2021.
In the establishments of the administrative public sector, specifically in the ARS of the Centre and Lisbon and Tagus Valley, nurses who have fixed-term public service employment contracts between 1 May and 31 December, 2020, and who complete the eight months between 1 February and 31 August, 2021, will be dismissed.
According to the "Monthly Analysis of the Social Balance" in the "SNS - Portal do SNS", between 1 August and 31 December 2020, 1,833 contracts were established with nurses who, because they are fixed-term, will be dismissed, denounces the union structure.
The SEP recalls that, despite the decrease in the number of new cases and of people hospitalised with Covid-19, the health needs "will be maintained and expanded", namely regarding the emergency to resume and intensify the responses of the SNS to the so-called "non-covid.19 health needs", the increased activity of nurses in "mass testing and vaccination", the right to take holidays, tolerances, time off, rest periods and the necessary integration of young nurses who, finishing their course in July, should be admitted from August.
In its missive, the SEP demands that the establishments managed by PE companies convert into open-ended contracts all fixed-term contracts, including the open-ended ones, based on the replacement of temporarily absent nurses, and in the establishments of the public administrative sector that fixed-term public employment contracts are automatically renewed until the end of the tender procedures, and that, until 30 March, tenders are opened in the Central and Lisbon and Tagus Valley Regional Health Authorities.