Norway prepares for doctors’ strike

Doctor - GPPhoto: Gorm Kallestad / NTB
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A failure to reach an agreement on several issues will probably lead to an extensive medical strike throughout Norway. However, an agreement on wage settlement in the state, municipality, and Oslo was reached during overtime.

During the night between Wednesday and Thursday, the Norwegian Medical Association and the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS) breached the time of negotiations on the municipal settlement.

“This has been a very demanding mediation. We have gone to great lengths to find a possible solution but, unfortunately, disagreed with KS on the end result,” president Marit Hermansen of the Norwegian Medical Association said about the breakdown in the negotiations on the special agreement.

The agreement regulates outpatient care and working conditions for newly qualified doctors, among other things. 

The breach of the negotiation framework may affect municipal emergency services throughout the country in the coming weeks.

“Will not endanger life”

The mediation was the only one left in the municipal settlement after the Federation of Norwegian Professional Associations (Akademikerne) broke off the negotiations in September.

KS and Akademikerne agreed to the solution proposal from the State Conciliator of Norway (Riksmekleren), while the Norwegian Medical Association, part of Akademikerne, rejected the proposal.

Each of the Akademikerne’s member associations must take a position on the mediation result by October 23. 

The Norwegian Medical Association is planning a strike from October 26. 

It is not known how many doctors will join the first strike.

“We will, of course, do everything we can to shield the patients. The strike will not endanger life and health. This is especially important because of the ongoing pandemic,” Hermansen stated.

More overtime settlements

Both in the settlement for Oslo municipality and the state settlement, the solution in the negotiations was reached in overtime.

For the four main associations – LO, YS, Unio, and Akademikerne – the solution was achieved during mediation with the state on Thursday morning – after six hours of overtime.

“Government employees will receive a general supplement in line with what other groups have received… and we are satisfied with that,” Pål N. Arnesen, leader of YS Stat, noted.

For those organized in LO Stat, a general supplement of between NOK 1,321 and 5,753 will be given out. 

The wage supplement will go into effect from October 1. 

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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