Dirty Little Secrets

Reykjavík sewage Veitur

I’d wager you’ll sit down at a toilet today. Who knows what you’re doing in there, but if you’re in Reykjavík – you’ll flush the remains. But have you ever wondered what happens after the flush? Where all of it goes? The short answer: out to sea. For the longest time, that was the long answer, as well, as sewage went untreated into the ocean.

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Workers’ Strikes Update: One Avoided, One Begins, One Continues

The BSRB workers’ strike that was scheduled to begin today has been cancelled, RÚV reports. Meanwhile, Efling Union members in five municipalities are joining the ongoing strike action currently underway in Reykjavík. Negotiations between Efling Union and the City of Reykjavík ran late into the night yesterday, and are scheduled to continue at 1.00pm this afternoon.

BSRB – The Federation of State and Municipal Employees

Some 16,500 public sector employees had voted to begin a two-day strike today. The action, and further strike actions scheduled by BSRB Federation, were cancelled after the Federation reached agreements for all of the unions in question last night and early this morning.

“The milestone in these agreements is the shortening of the workweek. We are making significant changes to the working hours of shift workers, the workweek is shortened to 36 hours and it will be possible to shorten it to 32 hours for those who work around the clock,” BSRB’s chairperson Sonja Ýr Þorbergsdóttir stated.

Efling Union

Efling Union members employed by the City of Reykjavík have been on a general strike since February 17, affecting preschools, primary schools, welfare services, and garbage collection. This weekend, agreements were signed between Efling and the state government. According to a notice on Efling’s website, the agreements “come with some financing for a correction of underpaid women’s jobs.” Negotiations between Efling and the City are however still ongoing, as is the general strike.

As of today, Efling members in the municipalities of Kópavogur, Seltjarnarnes, Mosfellsbær, Hveragerði, and Ölfus have joined the ongoing strike action currently underway in Reykjavík. They number around 300 and work in elderly care and municipal construction and maintenance.

A sympathy strike among workers in the Federation of Independent Schools in Iceland was also proposed for today, but Iceland’s Labour Court deemed the action illegal and Efling has stated that it “accepts the ruling and will not proceed with the strike.”