Grade school teachers in Iceland are furious that members of parliament and government ministers have been granted a massive pay rise, while they have been struggling to work out a new collective bargaining agreement since last spring. As such, they are seriously considering going on strike.
The pay rise, granted by the Wage Committee on election day, gives MPs a pay rise of over 340,000 ISK per month, while the Prime Minister and the President were given monthly rises of over half a million ISK.
The President, for his part, does not want the rise, and Vísir reports that the rise for MPs is equivalent to the monthly salary of a teacher with 10 years of experience.
Grade school teachers have been working without a collective bargaining agreement since last spring, as they have yet to be offered a satisfactory pay rise. As such, the new pay rises for members of government have pushed them closer to a walk-out.
Collective bargaining is likely to be a hot issue in the coming year. Unions are already increasing their strike funds in preparation, and Iceland’s seamen are already preparing to strike in a few days, which could have dramatic effects on the economy.
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