Municipal strike escalates / News / The Foreigner

Municipal strike escalates. Deadlock and bitterness bring 45,000 out on strike. Hospital and health personnel are now back at work after yesterday’s approximate 3.5 percent pay rise agreement between employers and Unio (the Confederation of Unions for Professionals). But it’s a different story for many municipal employees, who’ve been offered just 3.3 percent.

strike, unions, employers, municipality, teachers, kindergartens, negotiations, pay



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Municipal strike escalates

Published on Wednesday, 2nd June, 2010 at 20:49 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 5th June 2010 at 09:27.

Deadlock and bitterness bring 45,000 out on strike.

General strike
General strike
Photo: dr. motte/Flickr


Not talking

Hospital and health personnel are now back at work after yesterday’s approximate 3.5 percent pay rise agreement between employers and Unio (the Confederation of Unions for Professionals).

But it’s a different story for many municipal employees, who’ve been offered just 3.3 percent.

In an escalation in the deadlocked pay row unions called over 27,000 further workers out today, bringing the total to 45,000.

The stalemate means many more kindergarten families, children in schools, and nursing home patients will now be affected, also hitting services such as rubbish collection and disposal.

“There’s no communication between the parties,” Anders Folkestad, head of Unio (the Confederation of Unions for Professionals) tells NRK.

Important decimal points

Earlier today Magnus Takvam, NRK’s political commentator, says the gulf between both parties was too great to avoid an escalation.

“The most difficult issue is increasing the economic framework. Negotiations with unions in the state and health sectors have resulted in pay rises of between 3.3 and 3.5 percent. These small decimal points mean a lot because of the large numbers of workers.”

Takvam believes neither employers nor unions are interested in a long-running strike, and that both will try to avoid compulsory arbitration by the government. He thinks today’s escalation is what’s needed for talks to be restarted.

Gloomy

But things don’t look promising for now. Several councils say they are considering sending out layoff notices to their employees like Bergen did on Monday.

“It’s stalemate. We’ve stretched a long way, but the economic framework remains unchanged,” says Communications Director Bjørn Ivar Baade in KS (the Association of Local and Regional Authorities).

Meanwhile, the strike in the transport sector continues, growing worse for every week.

Yesterday, employers in the Logistics and Freight Association (LTL) put an offer on the table of three kroner extra per hour. This was subsequently rejected by the Transport Workers’ Union (NTF).

The NTF has escalated its strike from today, whilst the LTL claims industrial action will cost them one billion kroner in reduced turnover and will lead to redundancies.

“The long duration of the strike means many customers have found new suppliers. They won’t return once the strike is over,” says LTL Managing Director Tom Rune Nilsen in a press release.

The strike started on 15 May.

To see how it affects you, click here to go to NRK’s page and check your county.




Published on Wednesday, 2nd June, 2010 at 20:49 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 5th June 2010 at 09:27.

This post has the following tags: strike, unions, employers, municipality, teachers, kindergartens, negotiations, pay.





  
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