BSRB has begun its strike actions today as part of its ongoing negotiations with the Icelandic Association of Local Authorities (SNS).
As of today, some 1,000 workers are on strike, with more expected in the coming days. BSRB is Iceland’s largest federation of public sector unions, comprising 19 labour unions with some 23,000 members. Approximately two-thirds of BSRB members are women.
These actions affect, among others, staff in sports and primary schools in Kópavogur and Mosfellsbær, after-school programs in Mosfellsbær, preschools in Garðabær, and Seltjarnarnes primary school.
Sonja Ýr Þorbergsdóttir, chairperson of BSRB, says that the Icelandic Association of Local Authorities must pay the same wages to BSRB union members as others in similar jobs. BSRB is demanding retroactive wage increases from January 1st, when the last collective agreement was still in effect. The negotiating committee has offered wage increases from April 1st.
Sonja says there is little to no progress in the negotiations, stating to RÚV: “The last meeting was on Friday. We have two agreements in the case, and they didn’t see fit to call for another meeting.”
She continued: “Local authorities pride themselves on equal opportunity actions and have a direct obligation to do so, as they have both job evaluations to ensure equal pay for equal work and pay equity certification.”
Affected schools have needed to cope with staffing shortages. Parents of affected schools have been informed of the shortages, with some parents of children who require special support opting to keep their children at home.
Next week, strike actions are planned in sports programmes and primary schools in Hafnarfjörður, Hveragerði, Árborg, Ölfus, and the Westman islands.