From Iceland — Teachers' Union Negotiations Not Going Well

Teachers’ Union Negotiations Not Going Well

Published March 27, 2014

Teachers are still unsatisfied with what they see as an unwillingness from government officials to provide a satisfactory collective bargaining agreement.

“This didn’t go especially well yesterday,” Ólafur H. Sigurjónsson, the chairperson of The Association of Deputy Headteachers in Upper Secondary Schools, told Vísir, about a meeting that his union and The Icelandic Teachers’ Union had with government negotiators over collective bargaining terms.

“We’re a little surprised the government has had nothing to offer in the current situation,” referring to the secondary school teachers’ strike, which began March 17.

In fact, a statement on the webpage of the Icelandic Teachers’ Union has called the government counter-offer “almost insulting”, with some contending that the government’s new offer is actually worse than their initial offer earlier this month.

As reported, secondary school teachers have been deeply unsatisfied with the terms being offered by the state, especially with regards to wage increases. In a recent statement to the press, they demanded that “the government revoke its [collective bargaining] representative at once, to present a realistic offer at the negotiations table to correct our salaries, and insure a natural salary development in the future. This, and only this, can create the foundation discussions about the future of secondary schools for the teaching class.”

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