Uni Teachers' Strike Officially On - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Uni Teachers’ Strike Officially On

Published April 15, 2014

Photos by
Julia Staples

The university teachers’ strike will begin on April 25 and last until May 10.

RÚV reports that Jörundur Guðmundsson, the chairperson of the Association of University Teachers (FHK), confirmed the news for reporters. Teachers agreed last March to go on strike on April 25 if an agreement could not be reached with government officials over their collective bargaining agreement. Icelandic law requires strikes to be announced with two weeks’ notice.

As reported, the university teachers have long been dissatisfied with their wages. In particular, while all academics are supposed to have the same requirements and meet the same standards of performance, the wages of university teachers have decreased in comparison to other academics.

Students have also been worried. A petition created by the Students Rights Office has called upon Minister of Finance Bjarni Benediktson in particular, but all members of parliament in general, to prevent the strike from happening. María Rut Kristinsdóttir, the director of the Students Rights Office, told MBL that while there have been concerns amongst students, “we will not sit still and be quiet. We will put on pressure, as well as we can, during this week. The sooner a deal is made, the less uncertainty there is.”

Government officials now have about two weeks to approach the teachers with a counter-offer, or the strike will go into effect.

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