Police have reportedly begun another tactic in their collective bargaining negotiations: not fining people for speeding, depriving the state of funds.
According to sources close to RÚV, a number of police officers have had communications on social media coordinating means by which they can exert pressure on the government over their collective bargaining position. One means that has already come up is to refrain from fining people who they pull over for speeding, thereby depriving the government of money. One anonymous police officer told reporters this has been going on for about a month.
Police, who have lacked the right to strike since 1986, have also used mass “calling in sick” days and random traffic stops to improve their position. The Ministry of Finance, though, calls these actions illegal and have threaten to pursue legal action if they continue.
Apart from lacking the right to strike, police have also been unsatisfied with their terms of employment. Last week, a police officer with seven years’ experience posted his payslip on Facebook, showing that for a month working full time with extra duties, he took home about 285,000 ISK after taxes – about 15,000 ISK less than the minimum wage proposed earlier this year by numerous major unions.
In related news, the Union of Public Servants (SFR) and the Paramedics Society of Iceland (SLFÍ), have already begun their strike, and some 3,600 workers are off the job. Workers in SFR and SLFÍ are employed by the county office (sýslumaðurinn), the tax office, the national hospital, customs, and various health clinics – to name just a few of their workplaces.
A full schedule of their strikes, and the places affected, can be found here.