Teachers Considering Walk-Out In Response To Massive Pay Rise For MPs - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Teachers Considering Walk-Out In Response To Massive Pay Rise For MPs

Published November 4, 2016

Photos by
Natsha Nandabhiwat

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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