Nurses Overwhelmingly Reject Government Offer - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Nurses Overwhelmingly Reject Government Offer

Published July 15, 2015

Main photo by
landspitali.is

Workers in the Icelandic Nurse’s Association (FÍH) have voted to reject a collective agreement from the government, as resignations continue to climb.

Kjarninn reports that 88.4% of voting FÍH members rejected a proposed deal from the government regarding wage increases. A collective statement from the union says the result shows that “the government must respond to the fair demands of the nurses that their base salary be comparable to other university educated professions, and systemically reduce the gender wage gap.”

What the next step will be is uncertain. While the government wants to form a three-person arbitration committee to dictate the new collective bargaining terms, union chairperson Ólafur G. Skúlason said the nurses would rather return to the negotiations table with the state and work out a better deal.

This might be unlikely to happen, however, as Minister of Finance Bjarni Benediktson told reporters that he believes there is no more cause to negotiate further with the nurses.

The news comes in the wake of reports of increasing resignations from nurses, which have now exceeded 300, and continue to climb.

As reported, nurses went on strike at the end of May, but were ordered back to work through parliamentary vote weeks later.

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