Norway’s private care companies go on strike: “We are dissapointed”

Salvation ArmyPhoto: Terje Pedersen / NTB
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The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO) and the Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees (Fagforbundet) did not reach an agreement in the mediation negotiations on the working conditions for private care companies. There will be a strike from the start of working hours on Saturday morning.

The mediation started on Thursday. The deadline for reaching an agreement was midnight, but shortly before four o’clock, the message came that the parties could not reach an agreement.

“We are disappointed. We did not want conflict, but we experienced that NHO did not want to meet us on any points. 

“This makes it practically impossible for us to take care of our members in a good way… 

“We have to use our most powerful tool, a strike,” Anne Green Nilsen in the Fagforbundet’s union working committee, which has led the mediation for the union, noted.

Unhappy with wages

The background for the conflict is that the union believes that their members have not been lower salaries over several years in relation to comparable groups. 

In the wage settlement in 2019, the NHO raised wages of the nurses in private care by NOK 50-60,000. 

The trade union is now demanding a corresponding wage increase for all its members in the sector, which the NHO has rejected.

Fagforbundet and the Norwegian Union of Social Educators and Social Workers (Fellesorganisasjonen) have initially announced that they would take out 80 members on strike from Saturday. 

The strike will escalate further from January 14.

The strike covers a number of private treatment institutions in the areas of psychiatry, child welfare, nursing, and care, as well as in non-profit organizations such as the Salvation Army and the Association of the Blind. 

Another negotiation breakdown

“Our members should not earn significantly less than their colleagues with the same tasks. 

“The NHO refused to even out the wage differences, so we go on strike,” Ole Henrik Kråkenes, chief negotiator for Fellesorganisasjonen, noted.

Parat and the Confederation of Vocational Unions (YS) have also negotiated with the NHO in parallel about their members, and those negotiations also broke down on Saturday night.

“Unfortunately, the NHO and the national associations did not show sufficient willingness to meet us during the mediation. 

“Parat, like the Fagforbundet, thus had no choice,” Parat’s chief negotiator Kjell Morten Aune said.

Parat will initially only takes out one member on strike from Saturday morning.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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