Representatives of employers and employees on the public and private employment market will review the upcoming wage contracts at a meeting tomorrow, which will be moderated by the state mediator. The meeting might prove a basis for a new stability pact.
Managing director of SA Vilhjálmur Egilsson. Photo by Geir Ólafsson.
“It is necessary for all parties of the employment market to get together and discuss these issues,” commented Vilhjálmur Egilsson, managing director of the Confederation of Icelandic Employers (SA), to Fréttabladid, who called for the meeting.
Egilsson said it is important for everyone to be on the same page in the wage contract process; most of them expire at the end of this month or next. “We want the conclusion to be a three-year agreement with moderate pay increases.” The condition for such an agreement is low inflation and the creation of jobs, he explained.
When asked whether the meeting might draft a new stability pact, Egilsson replied, “We want to look into whether people are prepared to try such a course. […] I don’t think there is any better course available.”
President of the Icelandic Confederation of Labor (ASÍ) Gylfi Arnbjörnsson would not comment on a potential new stability pact, yet pointed out that at a similar meeting in February 2009 the former stability pact was drafted.
Arnbjörnsson also pointed out that at ASÍ’s general meeting one month ago it was concluded that an extensive cooperation with the government, opposition, employers and labor unions in the public and private market is necessary in increasing jobs and securing the purchasing power of wage earners.
As for SA’s ideas on three-year wage contracts, Arnbjörnsson only said that for such contracts to be discussed the participation of the state in economic and employment issues had to be at hand, which is currently not the case.
Chairwoman of the Federation of State and Municipal Employees (BSRB) Elín Björg Jónsdóttir said that before the meeting takes place it must be looked into whether there are any parallels that can be woven together. “We will show up with our lunch packs and listen to others.”
Click here to read more about the original stability pact.