The number of teachers now on strike in Norway rose to 8,200 on Monday. National mediator Mats Ruland confirmed that the conflict appears deadlocked after dragging on for three months.
The teachers’ unions claim they’ve made some offers aimed at settling the strike but that the national organization representing the local governments (kommuner) employing them (KS) wouldn’t budge. KS countered that it can’t allow people “to strike themselves towards more pay at the expense of everyone else” working in the local public sector.
Pressure also rose on Education Minister Tonje Brenna of the Labour Party to take a more active role in facilitating a settlement that would get children back to school. She’s being asked to either provide the funding needed to boost teachers’ pay or to order the teachers back to work, on the grounds that the strike is now affecting the mental health of both students and their parents. The state government can only order an end to strikes if they threaten life or health.