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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Teachers’ strikes averted, another launched

UPDATED: All-night negotiations led to a settlement between 21 Norwegian municipalities and their teachers on Friday. A strike threat among state employees and teachers at high schools and colleges was also later averted, but 140 employees of the City of Oslo were called off the job Friday morning.

Striking workers at Oslo City Hall include administrative workers involved in political processes tied to the city budget, a large digitalization project and preparations for the fall municipal election. They’re all members of the trade union federation Akademikerne in Oslo, and are unhappy with their pay and how it’s determined by city officials.

Several other union organizations including LO, YS and Unio came to terms on pay after accepting raises of at leaat 2.62 percent. Negotiators for teachers organized through both Unio and Akademikerne also agreed on new pay and pension plans, averting a strike that could have ruined year-end exams for around 7,000 teachers at schools in 21 Norwegian municipalities. So while school students were out striking to stop climate change on Friday, their teachers were at work as usual.

Another mediation session, meanwhile, dragged on for 14 hours in overtime Friday, with around 3,700 state workers poised to walk off the job. They included teachers at various high schools and colleges, and the overtime was linked to “complicated” issues regarding pay and pension terms. By mid-afternoon, however, they reached agreement, with the trade union federation LO Stat claiming it had secured higher pay, an improved early retirement program that includes state employees born after 1962, and better consideration of variable income when pension income is determined.

“I’m very glad we avoided a strike,” said Monica Mæland, the government minister in charge of local governments and modernization. She said pension issues had been especially demanding. staff



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