Nearly two out of three public employees are satisfied with the shortening of the working week, according to a survey reported by the BSRB public services federation. The results show that satisfaction is much higher among state and local government employees than among employees in other sectors. A total of 64% of civil servants say they are very or rather satisfied with the cut, with about 17% saying they are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied and about 18% saying they are very or rather dissatisfied. The difference between sectors appears to relate to the different way in which the cuts in
The BSRB public employees' union joined with the BHM graduates' union and the nurses' union to discuss their collective bargaining strategy in a meeting on 31 January that was streamed to other meetings of local unions across the country. The unions say that after 10 months without progress since the last collective agreement formally expired they are losing their patience. Their message to state and local government negotiators was to return immediately to the bargaining table or the unions would look to take industrial action to get things moving.
The BSRB public service union has called for government mediation in its dispute with local authority employers. In the current negotiations the BSRB has focused on a reduction of the working week to 35 hours with no loss of pay. The employers, however, want to stick to a 40-hour week with the possibility of shorter hours negotiated at workplace level on the basis of concessions in relation to breaks and other benefits.
Women workers across the country walked out of their workplaces at 14.55 on 24 October to highlight pay inequality as well as raising issues about sexual harassment and violence. The latest statistics show the gender pay gap in Iceland is still 26% and so in a normal 9 to 5 day this is the equivalent of women only being paid up to 14.55. The strike is a longstanding tradition in the country and supported by EPSU's affiliate, BSRB, the confederation of municipal and state employees.
(April 2017) The BSRB public services union is promoting an pilot project on shorter weekly working time. Four workplaces, including police, revenue and immigration services have been selected to participate to examine whether shortening the work week will bring mutual benefit to employees and the employer. The pilot will last one year from 1 April and the hours worked by employees will be reduced from 40 to 36 per week without wage cuts to come. The project will examine the impact on quality and efficiency and staff morale and well being.
Nurses, police and other public sector workers are in the process of confirming new collective agreements following strike action. The workers concerned were trying to ensure that they weren't left behind other parts of the public sector where pay increases had already been negotiated. Part of the deal involves new arrangements to ensure some consistency in pay across the public sector. Read more at > BSRG (IS) And at > Iceland Review (EN)
Three trade unions were set to take 48-hour strike action as of 15 October in protest at the government's refusal to ensure a fair pay deal for all public sector workers. The SFR, SLFÍ and LL trade unions, part of the BSRB public services federation, have been calling for their members to get a pay deal comparable to the one already covering other groups of public sector workers. Nurses, prison staff and other public administration workers will join the strike while the police are also affected by the differential treatment. The unions have already set dates for four further 48-hour strikes in