From Iceland — Students, Parents Show Solidarity With Teachers In Labour Dispute

Students, Parents Show Solidarity With Teachers In Labour Dispute

Published November 23, 2016

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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While yesterday’s work stoppage by primary school teachers has been criticised by some, students and parents alike are showing considerable solidarity for the teachers’ struggle for better labour conditions.

As reported, teachers left work early yesterday to attend a solidarity meeting concerning their ongoing labour dispute with Iceland’s municipalities. Teachers have been working without an active collective bargaining agreement since last spring, and the Wage Committee announcing massive pay rises for government ministers and the president late last month pushed teachers to the breaking point.

Lára V. Júlíusdóttir, a specialist in labour law and a Supreme Court lawyer, told RÚV that the work stoppage was illegal, as it did not give parents the prescribed notice to prepare for the situation.

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

Further, even students have gotten involved. Vísir reports that primary school students across the country are planning events to show their support for their teachers – as they have done in the past.

Numerous grade school teachers have already walked off the job. Their grievances have been ongoing for months now, and 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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