From Iceland — University Teacher Strike Impending

University Teacher Strike Impending

Published April 15, 2014

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Julia Staples

The majority of university teachers are ready to go on strike from April 25 to May 10, if an agreement cannot be reached on their collective bargaining contract.

MBL reports that while the Association of University Teachers (FHK) is, at the time of this writing, in negotiations, FHK chairperson Jörundur Guðmundsson told reporters that as far as the negotiations committee is concerned, the strike is already been approved. This is because last March, teachers at the University of Iceland voted on whether or not to strike if an agreement could not be reached. As the law requires unions to provide ample notice for a strike, midnight tonight is considered the cut-off point. If no deal is reached at that time, the strike will begin on April 25 – unless government officials reach out to the teachers.

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.”

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.

A definitive answer on whether or not the strike will move forward is expected tomorrow.

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