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Teachers Approve Contract

Grade school teachers have voted to approve a salary contract signed at the end of November by their representatives and the Icelandic Association of Local Authorities, RÚV reports. Ólafur Loftsson, who heads the Association of of Teachers in Primary and Lower Secondary Schools, stated it’s a relief that the new contract has been approved, but stressed that much work remains to be done.

The result of an electronic vote showed that 55 percent of grade school teachers approved the contract while almost 43 percent opposed it. Of the 4,521 teachers eligible to vote, 4,100, or 90.69, percent voted. About two percent returned an empty ballot. The contract gives teachers an 11 percent pay raise. They had rejected two previous contracts.

Ólafur remarked, “It hasn’t escaped anyone’s notice that that there has been a considerable fight regarding our salary.”

Numerous teachers have resigned. Ólafur was asked if he thought they would now withdraw their resignations. He answered, “It’s not clear to me. Resignations and recruitment don’t go through our association, so I don’t know, but we’ll find out in coming weeks how that turns out.”

When asked if the conflict among teachers was over, Ólafur responded, “At least there is much work ahead, and we need to bring some unity to our group. We must show cooperation in the tasks ahead.”

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