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.