Calling all Reykjavik City Workers!

Are you working for Reykjavík City as a member of Efling? Then your contracts are about to expire, and new ones negotiated. We will bargain for your future wages and conditions, and we want you to have control over the process. We will help you build a negotiating committee, and to set your own demands. This city works because you do. Join us in getting a fair deal for us, on whose work the city Read more…

A living wage is not a “crisis”

There has been some movement in negotiations, even though the announcements of yesterday show that further struggle is needed so that people can live off the minimum wage in Iceland. At the meeting of unions and employers at the state mediator yesterday, there was a final rejection of SA proposals on working time. They will not be discussed further. This means that talks about the main matter, wages, are coming up. Last week, Efling and Read more…

Why are the negotiations going so slowly?

Halldór Benjamín, the manager of the business association, SA, said on the radio yesterday that the negotiations for new collective agreements were going well with everyone except Efling, and the other unions that referred their negotiations to the state mediator. Why is that? Our comrade Vilhjálmur Birgisson, head of the VLFA union, responds: This is an interesting statement by the CEO of the employers’ association, saying that negotiations with the SGS union federation and the Read more…

What are the current contracts? Read the English translation here

Efling, along with the Hlíf Union, Verkalýðs- og sjómannafélag Keflavíkur (Trade and Seamen’s Union of Keflavík and Environs) and Stéttarfélag Vesturlands (the West Iceland Trade Union) signed collective agreements with employers in 2015. They expired at the end of last year, and we are now negotiating new ones. We have just uploaded a PDF of the old agreements here. You can compare them to our list of demands and, of course, to the wages and Read more…

Cheaper housing is essential

When negotiating new collective agreements, it is important to look at what the government is doing about housing. A concerted effort is required to expand social housing and to lower the cost of rent. The demands of Efling have from the beginning addressed this core issue. Yesterday, the housing action group of the Prime Minister presented its ideas, which have been prepared since last fall. The group consists of representatives from the labour movement, the Read more…

Resolution against the proposals of SA

In the current collective negotiations the confederation of employers, SA, has proposed changes to the working time and calculations of wages. These ideas are to expand the daytime working frame from 10 to 13 hours, to remove coffee breaks from paid hours, and to lengthen the accounting period for overtime work. The board, delegate council and negotiation committee of Efling consider this a great leap backwards in conditions of work in the Icelandic labour market. Read more…

Sólveig Anna: No later than now

I find it strange that so few politicians have supported our demands for a 425,000ISK minimum wage. If I was a politician, I couldn’t imagine anything else, even with all the other things I’d have to think about, than standing with working and low-wage people in Iceland in their fight for fair distribution of the wealth of society. I would do it for many reasons, of course first and foremost for reasons of justice; it’s Read more…

Icelandic employers against the currents of time

The biggest contribution of SA, the employers’ federation, to the collective bargaining in these last few months has been changing the rules surrounding working times. There are three themes: extending daytime working hours, selling out coffee breaks and reformed accounting of overtime hours. The ideas are said to be family-friendly and progressive. But what are they actually about? In the current agreements of the SGS union federation with SA, the daytime working period is 10 Read more…

Negotiations with SA

April 23: New collective agreement accepted. April 12: Voting on the new agreements takes place until April 23. April 3: Agreements signed. They now go to a membership vote. April 2: Negotiation committee of Efling gives the chair of Efling a mandate for the signing of a collective agreement with SA. If that happens, the agreement goes to a membership vote. April 1: Strikes on April 3-5 cancelled. A basis for an agreement has been negotiated. March 27: The Keflavík union Read more…

Strikes – Q&A

1. What’s a strike? A strike is when employees stop working in order to put pressure behind their demands in collective negotiations. Strikes can be limited and last for a short time, or they can apply to all members of a union and last an indefinite time — a general strike. Strike actions, either continuous or staggered, can last until the demands of the union have been met and an acceptable collective agreement has been signed. The decision Read more…