Norwegian nurses are demanding higher salaries: “There is a shortage of 5,900 nurses”

Lill Sverresdatter LarsenPhoto: Rune Stoltz Bertinussen / NTB
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The nurses in the municipal sector said “no” to the end result in the wage settlement. They will meet the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS) on Tuesday for mediation with the aim of avoiding strikes. Their demand? Higher salaries.

If the parties do not reach a solution by the deadline on Wednesday, January 6, there will be a strike on Thursday, according to Lill Sverresdatter Larsen, the leader of the Norwegian Nurses’ Association.

She pointed out that three out of four mayors describe nurses as the occupational group that is most difficult to recruit.

“There is a shortage of 5,900 nurses, most of them in the municipalities. The demand for nurses in the future is enormous. 

“We are seriously concerned about patient safety and the quality of health services,” the union leader emphasized.

The background for the mediation is that the members of the two Unio unions, the Norwegian Nurses’ Association and the Education Association, said “no” to the result of this year’s wage settlement between KS and Unio.

The agreement was ready on September 16 but was rejected in referendums.

Mediation

The background for the mediation is that the members of the two Unio unions, the Norwegian Nurses’ Association and the Education Association, said “no” to the result of this year’s wage settlement between KS and Unio.

The agreement was ready on September 16 but was rejected in referendums.

In December, however, the Education Association’s central board accepted the proposal from the State Conciliator of Norway, and thus the danger of a strike was over.

The nurses’ mediation was originally supposed to have taken place at the end of November but was postponed until after the New Year due to the infection situation.

Salary concerns

For the nurses, the settlement is above all about salary. 

“For the large proportion of the more than 37,000 nurses, specialist nurses, health nurses, and midwives in the municipalities, higher salaries are important,” she said.

“A strike is the only tool an employee organization has. It is not something we take lightly, nor should we,” she added.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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