This is what is needed to finish 

It is very well possible to sign new collective agreements in the next one to two days, in Efling’s opinion. For this to happen, the Confederation of Employers (SA) needs to complete certain issues that are still on the table.

There is an agreement regarding the prerequisite clauses of the collective bargaining agreement between the parties. The same applies to the wage clause of the contracts.

Three things in particular stand out regarding Efling’s demands.

First of all, it is the implementation of the strengthening of dismissal protection for employees in the general labor market. Efling has put forward proposals there that implement the law on the protection of whistleblowers and are very accessible to employers. Efling’s proposal would only affect workplaces with no working confidants and where companies have not established procedures for handling staff suggestions and complaints. Also, the provisions would only apply to workplaces where five or more employees work.

Secondly, Efling requests wording changes to be made in the section of the contracts on confidants, and those demands are very manageable for employers. Among other things, Efling wants it to be possible to increase the number of confidants in larger workplaces. As the situation is today, one confidant is expected in a workplace where 5-50 employees work and two where the number is greater. It is not expected that there will be more than two trustees, and Efling requests that in the future it will be possible to appoint more confidants in a reasonable proportion to the number of employees at each workplace.

It is also necessary to ensure that confidants are paid their full regular salary, and not just daily wages when attending confidant courses. Likewise, it must be ensured that confidants who sit on negotiation committees can attend negotiation meetings and committee meetings without suffering a loss of salary. This is bound up in contracts in the public labor market, and this inequality between confidants in the general and public markets must be abolished.

Thirdly, the changes to the text of the collective agreement have not yet been completed, which relate to the conditions of cleaners, the group in the general labor market that lives with the worst conditions of all according to surveys. Although good progress has been made in other aspects regarding the conditions of cleaners, there is still a need for the wording to be sharpened. It mainly involves definitions of when cleaners are in timed-based work and when not. There is a ploy for employers to avoid paying the agreed surcharge, which is rightfully due when it is time-based work. By changing the wording in the contracts in this regard, Efling wants to remove all doubts.

Other issues have yet to be finalized at the negotiating table, but the three mentioned above are the issues where the response from SA is still pending.

Voting on calling a strike for cleaners within the ranks of Efling is scheduled to begin at 4:00 p.m. today. No decision has been made to postpone them. If, on the other hand, Efling’s negotiation committee receives answers from SA that can be agreed upon, and there is a chance that the collective bargaining agreement can be concluded in the next 24 hours, it will be assessed whether the vote should be reconsidered.

“Our negotiators know very well which issues we require to be resolved in order to be able to sign a collective agreement. We have presented and argued these issues again and again at negotiation meetings since the end of December. Efling’s negotiating committee will not let a backlash or organized time pressure prevent us from reaching a full settlement in our cases,” says Sólveig Anna Jónsdóttir, chairman of Efling.