Members of public services union Fagforbundet are involved in a strike over pay against church employers. Following the failure of mediation, the union had to resort to strike action to prevent employers from reducing starting pay rates for new priests. There is also concern that priests who switch jobs might lose out. The union argues that such a measure would only worsen the current recruitment crisis. Meanwhile, a strike of childcare workers organised by Fagforbundet and Delta was called off at the last minute when the Norlandia group agreed to introduce a pension scheme in line with the rest of the private childcare sector and comparable to the municipal scheme.
Priests on strike while childcare workers win pension improvements
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Following the failure of voluntary mediation between unions and the PBL private childcare employers’ organisation, over 500 more workers were set to join the strike action from Monday 14 November, taking the total to around 3600. The three unions involved – Fagforbundet, Delta and the education union – are calling on PBL to provide a pension scheme comparable to that covering the municipal sector and already applied in other parts of the private sector. If the current PBL scheme is maintained then workers could lose out by between NOK 50,000-70,000 (€4840-6780) a year. Mandatory mediation is
After a month of strike action, the Fagforbundet, Delta and education trade unions have been able to secure an agreement with the PBL private childcare employers’ organisation on new pension arrangements. Workers will be able to build up a lifetime contractual pension from 1 January 2025 which will be comparable to that available to municipal employees. In addition, the percentage rate paid by employees for their own occupational pension will be reduced from 3% to 2.5% per cent in 2023, then down to 2% per cent when the new scheme is established. The employer's share is increased accordingly.
The SOMK education, culture and media union organised demonstrations in Zagreb and Rijeka to protest against plans to raise the retirement age for childcare workers from 65 to 67. The union argues that the change fails to recognise the nature of work in the sector and the increasing mental and physical demands made on childcare workers. EPSU sent a message of solidarity as did the BDDSz childcare workers from Hungary.