Threat of large scale strike in public sector / News / The Foreigner

Threat of large scale strike in public sector. Row over pensions can mean 30,000 are called out if no agreement is reached. Pay negotiations are an annual tradition in Norway. If it’s not about higher salaries, it’s about something else. This year, the dispute about public sector pensions for the members of several unions could mean strikes in universities, schools, kindergartens, health and social services, and the police, amongst others, should it not have been settled by the start of today’s working-day.Alliance Four unions, LO (the Confederation of Trade Unions), YS (the Confederation of Vocational Unions), Akademikerne (the Federation of Norwegian Professional Associations), and Unio (the Confederation of Unions for Professionals) have come together to keep both the qualifying period to earn a pension to 30 years, and the right to retire early at 65 with 66 percent pay (70 percent in Oslo).

unions, strike, unio, akademikerne, ys, lo, pensions, pay, state, national, regional, stavanger, norway,



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Threat of large scale strike in public sector

Published on Tuesday, 26th May, 2009 at 23:09 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

Row over pensions can mean 30,000 are called out if no agreement is reached.

Norwegian Confederation logo
Norwegian Confederation logo
Photo: Confed. of Unions for Professionals


Pay negotiations are an annual tradition in Norway. If it’s not about higher salaries, it’s about something else. This year, the dispute about public sector pensions for the members of several unions could mean strikes in universities, schools, kindergartens, health and social services, and the police, amongst others, should it not have been settled by the start of today’s working-day.

Alliance

Four unions, LO (the Confederation of Trade Unions), YS (the Confederation of Vocational Unions), Akademikerne (the Federation of Norwegian Professional Associations), and Unio (the Confederation of Unions for Professionals) have come together to keep both the qualifying period to earn a pension to 30 years, and the right to retire early at 65 with 66 percent pay (70 percent in Oslo).

“We are very clear in our demands” says Tore Eugen Kvalheim, YS’s leader to kommunike.no.

A real possibility

And it’s not just sabre-rattling.

“If we cannot come to an agreement with the state about pensions that YS, LO, Unio, and Akademikerne are satisfied with, then there will be a large-scale strike in the public sector”, the leader of YS Stat, Pål N. Arnesen says.

The consequences nationally

According to dagsavisen.no, several schools and kindergartens will be closed, and university students will neither be able to take or have their exams marked. The councils will have fewer technical, administrative, and cleaning staff, and some will not be offering any cultural activities. Most health-related services will be affected too.

Nettavisen writes that there will be a delay in out-payments and reduced staff at the tax-offices around the country.

“And those who have to pay tax in arrears will have their deadline extended because of the delay to their tax assessment notice” says Lise Halvorsen at the Directorate of Taxes.

And whilst on the subject of tax, dagsavisen writes that you will not be able to bring in more than your allowed quota of duty-free, because no customs officers will be available to calculate import duty.

And regionally

In Stavanger, nine kindergartens and nine schools will be affected.

NRK Rogaland writes that four council districts – Stavanger, Sandnes, Time, and Tysvær – with 1,100 union members in total will be affected. There will also be a reduced number of caretakers, gardeners, parking attendants, engineers, and psychologists. The public will also notice the strike in Stavanger Tingrett (the District Court), Petroleumstilsynet (the Petroleum Safety Authority), and Fylkesmannen (the County Governor).

The strike will also affect the police. 112 union members will be called out on strike in Stavanger and Sandnes police stations, together with the local ones in Time, Klepp and Hå according to Stavanger Aftenblad. This will cripple the sections that deal with investigation and serious crime – though this won’t affect either sex crimes or in cases of murder.

The absence of patrol cars will also be noticed.

“The whole of the mobile police squad will be called out should there be a strike, and this will mean fewer controls” says Arild Sandstøl, the local police union’s leader.

The deadline for reaching an agreement is set to 00:00 today.



Published on Tuesday, 26th May, 2009 at 23:09 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: unions, strike, unio, akademikerne, ys, lo, pensions, pay, state, national, regional, stavanger, norway, .





  
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