The Icelandic state has made an informal offer to the Association of Academics (BHM), whose member associations are on strike, affecting the operation of Landspítali National University Hospital, among other institutions and companies.
Chair of BHM Páll Halldórsson told Stöð 2 that the offer, an approximate 12-percent increase in salaries over three years, is “a tiny step in the right direction.” However, the offer alone will not bring the strike to an end.
Páll told Morgunblaðið that the offer is great progress but that there are “holes” in it which have to be discussed in further detail.
Gunnar Björnsson, chair of the state’s negotiation committee, said he expected a response from BHM today. Another meeting is scheduled this afternoon.
Cancer treatments at Landspítali have been severely affected because of the strike, which is causing growing concern among physicians, who believe someone may end up dying as a consequence.
Gunnar Bragi Ragnarsson, chief physician of Landspítali’s cancer ward, submitted a report about the strike to the Ministry of Health yesterday, stating legal action should be taken to end it.
Many other unions are striking or planning to strike, including nurses who will go on an unlimited strike as of May 27. At the beginning of this month, if wage disputes remain unsolved, 40 percent of the Icelandic workforce may be on strike.