From Iceland — Nurses And Government Strike Deal

Nurses And Government Strike Deal

Published June 24, 2015

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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A deal has been reached between the government and the nurse’s union, although still pending the approval of union members.

MBL reports that the new collective bargaining agreement – if union members vote to approve it – would offer an 18.6% salary increase over the next three years: 6% this year, 5.5% next year, and then 3% in 2017 and 2018. In 2019, a one-time payment of 70,000 ISK will also be made.

In addition, vacation pay and the December bonus will see similar increases. While the contract is for four years, the condition was made that if the terms of the pay rise prove to be incompatible with the general labour market, negotiations can be opened again.

If union members do approve the new agreement by July 1, the establishment of an arbitration committee – which would set the terms themselves – could be avoided. If they reject the new agreement, the arbitration committee might still not be established. Nurse’s union chairperson Ólaf­ur G. Skúla­son told MBL that the law which broke their strike specified that the committee would be established if no new deal was signed; the law says nothing about creating the committee if union members vote to reject the deal.

As reported, close to 200 nurses have tendered their resignations since parliament voted to break their strike last week. It is uncertain at the time of this reporting if those nurses could withdraw their resignations should union members approve the new collective bargaining agreement.

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