The midwives at Uppsala University Hospital demanded a pay raise of SEK 5,000 per month. Photo: Martin Hult/Sveriges Radio
more than two dozen quit

Low pay prompts resignation of midwives

At least 28 midwives resigned on Friday from a hospital in Uppsala, citing low pay as the main reason for their departure.

Swedish Radio's local channel in Uppland reports that the midwives at the Uppsala University Hospital were calling for a pay increase of SEK 5,000 per month. Management offered the caregivers less than half of that, somewhere between SEK 1,200 to 1,400 extra each month.

"It feels like this is the last resort. It's unreasonable to work for this salary when one has already been a midwife for several years and has the experience of being a nurse previously," said Tove Jägerbert, one of those who resigned.

Acting hospital director Björn Ragnarsson declined to comment on Friday.

Sweden has experience an acute shortage of midwives, particularly in urban centers. Midwives in Stockholm county recently penned an open letter protesting what they call "unsustainable" working conditions.

The resigning midwives in Uppsala, who represent about one out of every five that work at the hospital, said they also quit over worries that stalled salaries would fail to attract new employees and put patients' health at risk.

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