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    Auxiliary hospital workers in Rome and other Italian cities are striking for higher pay. As?

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    Auxiliary hospital workers in Rome and other Italian cities are striking for higher pay. As a result, it is reported hospital conditions are deteriorating and patients are being put at risk.

    SYNOPSIS: At the Policlinico, one of Rome's largest hospitals, the wards have not cleaned for a week.

    Military field kitchens are operating. Food is prepared by soldiers with the aid of medical staff. It is reported that the Army will begin to clean up the hospital wards as well.

    2,000 patients the Policlinico have been living on pre-prepared food brought in from the outside. workers have complained of terrible working conditions, and kitchens with equipment too old to be usable.

    Operations have had to be postponed because of lack of equipment. The auxiliary staff strike was called to protest against what they consider to be insufficient wage increases under a national labour contract. However, Italy's Health Minister, Tina Anselmi, has said there will be no revision of the contract agreed with the main unions earlier this month. On Friday (20 October) government minister were to meet union representatives for talks aimed at ending the strike.

    Elsewhere in Rome, university students and teachers participated in a national strike on Thursday (19 October). Starting from the Piazza le della Minerva, the protestors marched to the Education Ministry. Chanting slogans and waving banners, they were protesting against the government's education policies.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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