The state negotiation committee and Association of Icelandic Nurses signed a wage contract on Friday evening, RÚV reports.
The agreement is a welcome development; nurses have been without a contract for over a year. Moreover, a pay cut in the form of cancelled shift premiums went into effect last week—“a real blow” at any time, but particularly during the current COVID-19 crisis.
The new contract includes provisions for a shorter workweek, as well as changes to shift arrangements, reported Guðbjörg Pálsdóttir, the chair of the Nurses Association. The contract includes other changes, but Guðbjörg said these must be discussed with association members before being publically announced.
Sverrir Jónsson, the chair of the state negotiating committee, said that the new wage agreement is in line with others that the state has recently signed with other professional unions. “We are looking to the future and committed to our continued cooperation [with nurses]. What matters isn’t what is done today, but what needs to happen in the coming weeks and months,” he concluded.
Guðbjörg said that new contract will be introduced to the Nurses Association for review right after the Easter holiday weekend.