A labor dispute now rocks Iceland’s biggest hospital, Landspítali. In an attempt to curb costs the management of Landspítali rearranged the work schedule of young doctors. This results in a pay cut that the young doctors do not accept.
So on April 1 the young doctors walked out and say that they believe the hospital has in effect terminated their agreement. Björn Zoëga, Managing Director of the hospital, says the walkout is illegal. All positions were filled by specialists on the first day of the dispute.
The Association of General Doctors, as the young doctor’s organization is called, sees things differently. In a statement the union says that a new make-shift system goes against Icelandic law and EU-regulations. This new system threatens the safety of patients, according to the statement.
Not much seems to be happening to solve the dispute. The Surgeon General of Iceland said on Thursday that the two sides must talk, but so far they only seem to exchange views in the media. Because of the five day holiday the hospital probably will manage without the young doctors until Tuesday. However, after that it seems likely that an settlement has to be found.