Elementary school teachers in Iceland organized a silent protest at Laekjatorg square in Reykjavík this week in hopes of acquiring higher wages. A strike next fall is feared.
According to Ólafur Loftsson, the head of the Association of Elementary School Teachers in Iceland, many teachers are considering resigning. RÚV reports.
The Teacher Association has met with the Salary Department of the local communities in Iceland on 19 different occasions to discuss changes of the current agreement, but there is no solution in sight.
Gunnar Rafn Sigurbjörnsson, head of the Salary Department, said the problem lies in the fact that the current wage agreement cannot be changed. Teachers are not allowed to strike while it is valid, he said.
Elementary school teachers in Iceland went on strike in the autumn of 2004, which ended when the majority agreed on the current wage agreement. That agreement will expire at the end of this year.
Elementary school teachers have a monthly salary of ISK 260,000 (EUR 2,900, USD 3,800) on average, which is ISK 20,000 to ISK 25,000 (EUR 226 to 282, USD 296 to 370) less than the salary of kindergarten teachers and secondary school teachers.