From Iceland — Teachers Walk Off Job Today, Labor Crisis Looming

Teachers Walk Off Job Today, Labor Crisis Looming

Published November 22, 2016

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Art Bicnick

Primary school teachers across the country will be leaving work at 13:30 today, to attend a solidarity meeting pertaining to their ongoing collective bargaining negotiations. Already, many teachers across the country have quit their jobs in the dispute.

RÚV reports that afterschool programmes will continue as scheduled, but the situation is getting more serious. Teachers around the country are quitting their jobs over what they see as unreasonably low wages. These teachers have been working without a valid collective bargaining agreement since last spring.

In a show of support, parents have sent letters to City Hall, asking municipal authorities to abide the demands of the teachers and offer a better agreement proposal.

As reported, these teachers, who are municipal workers, are currently in negotiations with the cooperation of a state arbitrator.

Numerous grade school teachers have already walked off the job. While their grievances have been ongoing for months now, the tipping point came when the Wage Committee announced massive pay rises for government ministers and the president late last month.

Collective bargaining is likely to be a hot issue in the coming year. Unions are already increasing their strike funds in preparation.

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