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Italy’s nurses to get monthly pay rise of up to €170

Over half a million healthcare workers in Italy are set for a pay rise after a government deal with trade unions, ministers said on Thursday.

Italy's nurses are set to receive a monthly pay rise of between €146 and €170 following a deal between government and trade unions.
Italy's nurses are set to receive a monthly pay rise of between €146 and €170 following a deal between government and trade unions. Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP.

Health Minister Roberto Speranza announced the wage hike in social media posts on Thursday morning.

“More rights, more protections and more money in the paycheck for 545,000 healthcare workers who finally have a new contract,” a tweet reads.

“For the roughly 270,000 nurses, raises of between 146 and 170 euros per month. Our healthcare workers are our most precious resource.”

The collective bargaining agreement was signed between Aran, the agency tasked with representing Italian public administrations in labour negotiations, and six healthcare unions late on Wednesday evening, according to Italian media reports.

Under the agreement, healthcare staff will get a monthly pay rise of up to €98 per month, with nurses receiving an additional allowance of €72.

While nurses will receive the steepest salary hike, administrative staff, midwives, researchers and radiologists are all due to get pay rises of at least €90, reports newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano.

READ ALSO: Cost of living: How does Italy compare to the rest of the world in 2022?

Other provisions included in the contract include the introduction of a bonus allowance of between €10,000 and €20,000 for newly created managerial positions that require high levels of professional training, experience and competence.

The extra hourly rate for working night shifts rises from €2.74 to €4, according to financial news outlet Money.it.

Nurses will be eligible to receive pay rises of up to €7,700 over the course of their career, via seven individual annual salary hikes of €1,100 each.

A total of €241.6 million has reportedly been budgeted to pay for the increases.

No start date was announced for the pay increase, with reports stating that further details are still to come.

Unions said they were broadly content with the outcome but expect further investment in Italy’s healthcare sector.

“This opens a new season for the recognition of public health care work in our country,” the CGIL union’s general secretary Maurizio Landini reportedly said.

“The contract represents regained rights, now we expect a significant investment in employment and the national health service.”

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MONEY

EXPLAINED: What is Italy doing to cut the rising cost of living?

Amid soaring inflation and price rises, the Italian government has announced new measures to help families and businesses keep costs down. Here's what you need to know.

EXPLAINED: What is Italy doing to cut the rising cost of living?

Italy approved a much-anticipated aid decree on Thursday, August 4th, bringing a new round of state funding intended to tackle the country’s most critical issues: from the rising cost of living and sky-high inflation to the energy and supply crisis. 

READ ALSO: Fuel tax cut and help with energy bills: Italy approves inflation aid package

The ‘aiuti bis’ aid package, worth around 17 billion euros ($17.4 billion), likely marks the last major act by outgoing prime minister Mario Draghi before an early general election next month.

The funding is seen as badly needed after inflation hit 8 percent in Italy in June – the most severe spike the country has experienced since 1976.

After weeks of speculation about exactly which measures may or may not be included in the decree, we now know it contains everything from an extension to the fuel duty cut to more help with energy bills for those on lower incomes.

Here’s what you need to know about the latest measures intended to keep the cost of living under control.

Extension to fuel duty cut 

The current discount on fuel duties is to be extended again to September 20th, though the value of the discount will drop from 30 to 25 cents. 

The discount was recently extended to August 21st but the government decided to further prolong the incentive in a bid to ease the blow that record fuel prices have dealt to consumers and businesses.

The cut was initially introduced as far back as March when the average prices at the pump for petrol and diesel both exceeded the two-euro mark.

Help with energy bills

Measures introduced in the first half of the year to help lower-income households and vulnerable people pay rising energy bills will be extended under the new decree.

It extends an existing government discount on gas and electricity bills for a further three months, until the end of 2022, as well as reducing system charges.

READ ALSO:

Italy’s tax on the ‘excess profits’ of energy companies has meanwhile been extended to June 2023 after the government reportedly received fewer payments than expected.

Tax cut for employees

Workers earning a gross income of under €35,000 are eligible for a two percent tax saving, amounting to a small monthly ‘pay rise’ until the end of this year.

“Already in the budget law we reduced social contributions by 0.8 percent; for the second half of the year this reduction goes up to 2 percent, as we’re now adding 1.2 percent”, said Economy Minister Daniele Franco at a press conference on Thursday.

As the tax relief lasts until the end of the calendar year for a six-month period, the July deduction will be retroactive.

New aid measures announced on Thursday are hoped to boost Italy’s consumer spending power as the cost of everyday goods rises. Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP

Those earning €35,000 can expect to save around a further €30 per month (1.2 percent of a monthly salary of €2,692 – most Italian salaries are paid out over 13 rather than 12 months to give employees a tredicesima Christmas bonus).

To find out how this may apply to you, it’s advisable to speak to an accountant or your local Italian tax agency (Agenzie delle entrate) office.

More funding for mental health treatment

The new decree will also enhance the existing ‘psychologist bonus’ (bonus psicologo) by allocating an additional 15 million euros to the measure. This will bring the total amount of funds available for the bonus to 25 million euros. 

The bonus was officially introduced at the end of July to help make mental health services more affordable, amid a pandemic-induced crisis in Italy.

All individuals with an Isee (a calculation of relative household income and wealth) lower than 50,000 euros will be eligible to receive a 600-euro voucher, which they’ll be able to use when seeing professionals listed on Italy’s official register of psychologists.

See more information about claiming the bonus in a separate article here.

Discount on public transport tickets

The government will allocate a total of 101 million euros to funding its ‘transport bonus’ (bonus trasporti); 22 million more than the original amount.

The bonus takes the form of a one-time 60-euro discount to be used on the purchase of monthly or yearly tickets for local transport services.

It will be available from September 2022 to all pensioners, students, and employees with an Isee of up to 35,000 euros.

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