The government has imposed compulsory arbitration in a dispute between unions representing health and care staff in the private and non-profit sector and the NHO employers’ organisation. The unions were taking strike action in support of their demand for higher pay rates that would bring pay in line with comparable collective agreements in health and care. The NHO was refusing to negotiate and then the national health board intervened claiming that the dispute was posing a danger to life and health. Each side will now present evidence to an independent wages board whose decision will then be implemented in a new collective agreement. Trade unions argue that this is a unjustifiable attack on the right to strike.
Unions angered by state intervention in private health and care dispute
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The Fagforbundet public services union is celebrating a positive result after 30 days of strike action by some of its members in the private health sector. The aim of the strike was to ensure that agreements in the sector kept pay in line with the public sector. This was achieved including an historic rise in the minimum wage up by NOK 80000 (EUR 7800) to NOK 300000 (EUR 29250). The strike action was challenged by the NHO employers’ organisation, but the Labour Court ruled that the strike was legal and not in breach of the peace obligation. The union and employers are now committed to further
Trade unions across the country have been mobilising in protest at the government's plans to make radical and negative changes to the labour code. These would include the unilateral termination of employment contracts, an increase in precarious employment, a reduction of overtime pay and at the same time reduction of existing limitations to overtime work. Other changes are in breach of ILO Conventions on freedom of association and collective bargaining. Trade unions across Europe have been responding with messages of support and solidarity.
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