Public service unions, including Fagborbundet and the nurses' union, are hopeful that 11 privatised care homes in Oslo will be back under municipal control in the next two years as their contracts come to an end. The red/green coalition on the city council has given positive signs but the unions are concerned it may use an option to extend contracts by one or two years. The unions argue that any delay will be costly to the workers. They give the example of a care home in Uranienburg which was privatised in 2013 and then remunicipalised but workers in the home had lost out with annual salaries for most workers NOK70-80000 (EUR 7-8000) less than in the public sector.
Ending care home contracts will boost workers' pay
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(December 2016) Public services union Fagforbundet reports that from 1 January 2017 Oslo City Council will take over the running of care homes previously run by the Norlandia company. Since the contract for the homes was outsourced workers' pay has fallen behind comparable rates in the public sector. The return to municipal control means care workers will see pay rises of 40000-50000 NOK per year (EUR 4430-5530).
The Fagforbundet public services trade union has called on municipalities to end any contracts with the Orange nursing staff agency. Local authorities in Oslo and Bergen have already terminated contracts with the company following evidence of its infringement of various regulations including health and safety law. The company also failed to maintain services to users and to comply with demands from the authorities to meet the terms of its contract. Fagforbundet says the company is also guilty of paying wages well below the sector agreement while press reports have revealed the company's tax
The government has brought an end to the strike in private care homes with compulsory arbitration. The government argued that the strike was life-threatening to patients. The union response was that it was, in fact, the low level of staffing in private care homes that posed the real threat. The unions are hopeful that arbitration will produce a positive result in terms of ensuring that workers in private care homes get the same pay and pensions as those in the public sector. Read more at > Fagforbundet (NO)