Nurses at Landspítali National University Hospital decided at a mass meeting yesterday to reject the hospital’s offer of a pay raise. A total of 452 nurses out of the 497 who voted, or 91 percent, rejected the offer.
Landspítali National University Hospital (foreground). Photo copyright Icelandic Photo Agency.
“The view was expressed that it isn’t nearly enough,” stated chair of the Nurses’ Union Elsa B. Friðfinnsdóttir to Morgunblaðið.
The proposed pay raise, which was presented as the hospital’s final offer in the wage dispute, amounts to ISK 25,000 (USD 199, EUR 145) per month on average.
After the meeting, the employment director of Landspítali was notified of the decision and the hospital’s negotiation committee was planning to discuss the situation today.
The resignations of 270 nurses, to take effect on March 1, still stand.
“If the labor union does not want to participate in distributing the funds that we were given to make a new institutional contract we must raise the salaries of those employees who choose to continue working with us unilaterally,” commented director of Landspítali Björn Zoëga.
“It has been made very clear to us and the union that the state does not have any more money to contribute to [the wage dispute],” Björn stressed, adding he finds it strange that the union does not want to make a new institutional contract and benefit it them long-term.
Other hospital employees are also dissatisfied with their wages; 40 x-ray technicians in 32 full-time equivalent units announced their resignations last week to take effect as of May 1 and more resignations are said to be pending.
“We believe we have been left out and have had enough,” Katrín Sigurðardóttir, who chairs the union of x-ray technicians, told Morgunblaðið. They will meet with the hospital’s representatives tomorrow.
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