Nurses in Iceland Cut Eleventh-Hour Deal with State Skip to content

Nurses in Iceland Cut Eleventh-Hour Deal with State

Representatives of the Association of Icelandic Nurses (FÍH) and the government’s negotiation committee celebrated their eleventh-hour wage agreement on higher salaries for nurses with waffles late last night.

“Of course both parities did not get everything they said they wanted during negotiations but we had this project that we had to complete and so we did,” chairwoman of FÍH Elsa B. Fridfinnsdóttir told Morgunbladid.

Nurses had decided not to work overtime anymore as of today if their wages would not be improved. The overtime ban has now been canceled.

“We reached an all right agreement which I believe both parties can be satisfied with,” Fridfinnsdóttir said. The new wage agreement includes that the education and day job of nurses will have more weight so that overtime hours will not be a significant factor of their salaries anymore. “We agreed on a considerable increase of standard wages.”

ISK 20,300 (USD 268, EUR 170) will be added to the basic monthly salary of nurses in all wage categories and in addition to that all salaries will increase by a certain percentage point.

Chairman of the negotiation committee Gunnar Björnsson said it is a great relief that an agreement with the nurses was reached in time. “We can thank [the nurses] for reaching an agreement with us before the overtime ban took effect because they helped ensure that the discussions were constructive.”

“It was a lovely war,” Fridfinnsdóttir interjected. “But still a war,” concluded Björnsson.

Members of FÍH will vote on the new wage agreement before July 20 so it is not yet clear whether they will accept its terms, but Fridfinnsdóttir said she expects everyone to be satisfied with the new agreement.

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