General course

In November, Efling members will be offered a new General course of Vitinn – the Efling school. The general course comprises substantive and exciting lectures which aim to expand the knowledge, consciousness and confidence of people in class struggle.

The course spans four weeks, with teaching in Icelandic on Tuesdays and in English on Wednesdays, from 7 to 10pm at Efling Social centre, Gúðrúnartún 1, 4th floor.

The people behind this course are all experienced and knowledgeable in their respective fields, fields which are in direct connection to the reality and interests of Efling members. The aim is to make the studies accessible and lively with discussion and by intermittently breaking up the lecture format.

The general course is available to all Efling members and free of charges.

There are no formal requirements, other than interest in and curiosity about the courses and to have paid dues to Efling for at least three out of the last six months. 

There is no homework, all necessary teaching materials will be provided.

Students will get a certificate and gift bag after graduating the course.

Light refreshments will be offered at each event.

Those who are interested can register for the general course via or via tel. 510 7500.

General course in Icelandic: November 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd of 2021 from 7pm to 10pm.
General course in English: November 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th of 2021 from 7pm to 10pm.

Part 1 

Class division and in equality 

Teacher: Guðmundur Oddsson, reader at the Akureyri University and specialist in class studies. He has a doctorate in sociology at Missouri University in Columbia, USA. 

Guðmundur speaks about how class divisions and inequality manifest, about our class consciousness and its effects. The main sociological theories about class division are presented, and how they apply to the Iceland low-wage workers know. Practices and roleplaying are used to make the material come to life. 

Icelandic: Tuesday, November 2, 7pm-10pm 
English: Wednesday, November 3, 7pm-10pm

Part 2 

Class against class: Chapters from the history of Icelandic labour struggles, the labour market and living conditions in Iceland 

Teacher: Stefán Ólafsson, specialist at Efling and professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Iceland. He’s the author of numerous books on living conditions, among them a book on inequality in Iceland. 

Stefán will speak about the effects of labour struggles on the development of living conditions and welfare through the 20th century and until today, its interplay with politics and different ideological threads in the labour movement. The lecture is based on a book Stefán is writing for Efling on the topic.  

Equality and the labour movement 

Teacher: Fríða Rós Valdimarsdóttir, programme director of vocational training at Efling. She has long worked within the women’s movement and worked varied jobs relating to equality. 

Fríða Rós will speak about equality in a broad context, and the importance of considering the varied needs of different marginal groups, both in labour’s internal work and in its external struggles. 

Icelandic: Tuesday, November 9, 7pm-10pm 
English: Wednesday, November 10, 7pm-10pm

Part 3 

Equality and the labour movement, cont’d 

Teacher: Fríða Rós Valdimarsdóttir, programme director of vocational training at Efling.  

Essential but subordinated: The special struggle of low-wage workers 

Teachers: Sólveig Anna Jónsdóttir, chairman of Efling and former municipal kindergarten worker in Reykjavík. She has participated in many social struggles against, among other things, imperialism, and capitalism. 
Viðar Þorsteinsson, director of membership affairs at Efling. He has worked in many NGOs related to social justice. 

Sólveig Anna and Viðar discuss the special status of general and low-wage workers, both inside labour federations, and within Icelandic capitalism. Why do interest groups try to push for the introduction of the SALEK-system? The threat of SALEK to Efling members’ interests will be explained. Further, the position of Efling members in labour federations and the union’s possibilities of influencing these federations, will be discussed. 

Icelandic: Tuesday, November 16, 7pm-10pm 
English: Wednesday, November 17, 7pm-10pm

Part 4 

Numbers, solidarity, visibility – the Efling way of negotiating 

Teachers: Sólveig Anna Jónsdóttir, chairman of Efling and Viðar Þorsteinsson, director of membership affairs. 

Sólveig Anna and Viðar will discuss the trail Efling has blazed in recent years by reawakening the collective struggle of general and low-wage workers from its slumber. The methods which have proven most useful will be discussed, as will the international history the union has sought inspiration and ideas from. Participants will get prepped to participate in campaigns both at the workplace and in collective struggles for a collective agreement including strikes. 

Expression, presentation, and confidence 

Teacher: Kolbrún Halldórsdóttir, director and head of the Icelandic Assosiation of stage, film and tv directors, has worked in the labour and professional associations of artists for years, and has broad experience of stage art as an actress and a director. 

Kolbrún provides training in how to present oneself and to build confidence. The lesson is tailored to the situation of general and low-wage workers in dealing with bosses and working together. 

Icelandic: Tuesday, November 23, 7pm-10pm 
English: Wednesday, November 24, 7pm-10pm

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