Norwegian nurses working at state-run hospitals remained on strike heading into the weekend, even after their colleagues at the local level were ordered back to work. The state nurses may also wind up being forced into compulsory arbitration, if their strike is deemed to pose a threat to life and health.
“We really don’t have an authentic right to strike,” the leader of the Norwegian nurses’ union, Lill Sverresdatter Larsen, told newspaper Aftenposten, noting how 11 of 12 nursing strikes over the past 60 years have ended in compulsory arbitration,
Municipal employers are still being accused of simply finding an excuse that resulted in their own public sector nurses being ordered back to work. The sought raises higher than the 2.7 percent granted private sector industrial groups earlier this spring. Their employers claimed lower staffing levels blamed on the strike endangered some patients, even though staffing in Oslo, for example, is often even lower during summer holiday periods.
“We’re striking because we lack 7,000 nurses in Norway,” claimed one nurse on picket line duty outside the national hospital in Oslo. “Our pay must rise in order to retain and recruit nurses.”