Today, Ragnar Ólason and Efling organizers visited the kindergarten Miðborg to discuss negotiations with the city and to hear the staff out. The welfare of kids being taken care of in the kindergartens was on people’s mind. In Iceland, children spend more time in kindergarten during the day than in neighbouring countries, as our working week is longer. In addition to this longer stay and accompanying work, the kindergartens have suffered cuts, which leads to staff shortages and high staff turnover. The strain on workers is too high and the wages are too low to live on. How can Reykjavík city administrators do this, and still talk about the welfare of kids being a priority?
In the current negotiations with Reykjavík, Efling is asking for a real shortening of the working week. The trial project of Reykjavík showed in no uncertain terms that this improves wellbeing at work and illness is reduced. This carries over into work with the children, who feel the effects of the improved surroundings.
Efling workers in kindergartens therefore reject the idea of trading coffee breaks for shorter working hours. That is in no way a solution to the big problems facing kindergartens and doesn’t bring the kids any benefits. We need higher wages, a shorter working week, and a correction for the cuts made to kindergartens in the city and their staff after the crash, which hasn’t been amended 11 years later. We demand that Reykjavík admit the problem facing kindergartens and meet our demands with due fairness.