collective bargaining ©CanStockPhoto robwilson39
(25 April 2018) Early this morning trade unions representing public employees in the regions secured a new three-year agreement with an overall wage development of 8.1% - only slightly below their target of 8.17%. This is the first deal to be done in the public sector-wide negotiations that looked to be heading for a major conflict.
The result follows from several weeks of mediation which began when negotiations broke down. Public sector trade unions had been looking for a real wage increase over the next three years but the employers had failed to make an adequate offer. The dispute then escalated. The unions announced plans for targeted strike action involving 10%-15% of state and municipal workers but the employers responded with a threat of a massive lockout covering 90% of state workers and 50% of municipal workers.
The agreement covers around 40000 workers out of the 120000 in the regions. Negotiations covering other workers in the municipalities and state sector are continuing. The 8.1% breaks down into a general increase of 6.1% over three years plus an additional 0.71% coming from the rule that keeps public sector wages developing in line with the private sector. There will also be 0.35% for local negotiations and finally 0.34% for priority groups – low paid and occupations dominated by women.
The link with the private sector has been changed and the unions are pleased that it will now work to ensure an approximate parallel wage development rather than a strict regulation that in the led to 80 % increase in the public sector compered to the private sector
The agreement also confirms the right to paid lunch break and includes improvements in maternity leave, holiday entitlement and other benefits.