Norway’s national nurses’ union (Sykepleierforbundet), fearing they’d be ordered into another round of compulsory arbitration, decided to call off their strike at state-run hospitals around the country and enter into voluntary negotiations. That way they’ll at least be able to appoint their own negotiators.
“We received a warning that one duty slot at Oslo University Hospital wouldn’t be filled, and that could be evaluated as a threat to life and health,” the nurses’ leader Lill Sverresdatter Larsen told newspaper VG. Since that in turn could have triggered compulsory arbitration, she and her colleagues opted to call off their strike and send 620 nurses organized in the labour federation Unio back to work.
Nurses working at the local government level were already ordered back to work along with many other striking municipal workers including teachers, raising complaints that they actually lack the right to strike. Nurses and teachers have been on the front line during the Corona crisis, claim their pay growth has lagged that of other sectors and thus refused to accept the 2.7 percent pay raises that other sectors did earlier this spring.