Mediation aims to avert major strike

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Teachers, nurses and thousands of other public sector employees at the state and local levels are threatening to strike from Friday if their demands for higher pay aren’t met. State mediator Mats Ruland is central in the heated negotiations between four large trade union federations and representatives for state and municipalities.

“The most difficult thing is finding a solution that both the employees and employers can be satisfied with, after a very special year for both sides,” Ruland told news bureau NTB. “Various challenges in various branches make it even more demanding.”

The state and municipal employers have offered raises of 2.7 percent, less than this year’s predicted 2.8 percent rise in the cost of living but the same as what private and public sectors settled on earlier this spring. The nurses and teachers, however, aren’t willing to accept what would amount to the lack of any real pay raise. They also argue that they ended up losing out badly last year when they accepted raises of just 1.7 percent during the Corona crisis.

Since then they’ve been publicly hailed for the great jobs they’ve done during the crisis, but claim that applause from the public isn’t enough. They’re thus threatening the first strike over pay issues alone in 26 years, with around 20,000 already tapped to walk off the job if mediation fails to result in an agreement.

newsinenglish.no staff