A new plan for discussions with Reykjavík city and the state has been signed. It states that discussions will resume in the middle of August and the aim is to finalize a collective agreement before September 15th.
Due to the delays to negotiations, employees will receive a deposit related to the collective agreement on August 1st, 105.000 kr. given full time employment, otherwise calculated by the work ratio in the period from 1 April 2019 to 30 June 2019.
Efling has attended several meetings with the municipal authorities of Reykjavík. Those talks have been fruitless, among other things because the City refuses to discuss the shortening of working hours, which is quite surprising, seeing as the City of Reykjavík has been at the forefront of an experimental project for the shortening of working hours, which has yielded promising results. The City has boasted of those results during conferences and meetings.
The progress of talks with SÍS
Talks with the Icelandic Association of Local Authorities (SÍS) have been underway in the past few weeks and have now been referred to the state mediator. This is a result of the unwillingness of SÍS to keep the promises made by the association during collective agreement negotiations in 2015 for the equalization of pension rights for the staff of municipalities. An agreement has already been reached regarding these self-evident rights with the City of Reykjavík and the state. They will pay a special pension bonus of 5,91%. This amounts to just under 18 thousand kronas per month for the lowest paid employees.
Efling and other unions within the Federation of General and Special Workers in Iceland (SGS) have negotiated jointly and come to the agreement that there is no point in continuing negotiations unless the pension rights of municipal employees within ASÍ are equalized, in accordance with the promises given. The state mediator has called the contracting parties to a meeting on August 21st.
Status update regarding the state
During negotiations, the shortening of the work week will be discussed and the union has placed a great emphasis on reaching the goal of a shortening the working hours in real terms. The experimental project of the government has shown that shortening working hours leads to improvements in well-being, health and the working environment. The negotiating committee of Efling therefore sees it as evident that there is no reason to relax its demands.
Negotiations with nursing homes will be resumed when an agreement with the state has been reached. Efling has also demanded a deposit from them.