Education International
Education International

Icelandic social partners in education end labour dispute with successful result

published 8 April 2014 updated 10 April 2014

On 4 April 2014, a new agreement ended the recent conflict between the Icelandic ETUC/EI member organisation Kennarasamband Islands (KI) and the Icelandic government.

In the background of the dispute which lasted for three weeks and culminated in several days of strike of the upper secondary teachers, there was the unions’ demand for a salary increase. Additionally, KI required further financial increases for the adaption to new procedures in work evaluation and to facilitate necessary adjustments in connection with a new high school law which will enter into force in 2015.

Last week, the increasing pressure exerted through demonstrations and walkout showed effects and brought the social partners back to the negotiating table. Now, the successfully concluded agreement covers the demands which were made. However, the additional financial means for the new procedures in higher education will depend on the outcome of a vote in early 2015. If KI’s members will then refuse parts of the agreement connected to the new procedures, the current agreement will expire with immediate effect.

According to the new agreement teachers’ work evaluation will include more areas such as the number and the workload of students and pupils, their background and combination in a group, teaching and learning methods, preparation and teaching hours, paper work, setting of assignments, examination, marking, feedback, competence level, and possibly more aspects.

The agreement is supplemented by statements of the Minister of Education and Culture and the Minister of Finance and Economy reaffirming their commitment. KI is satisfied with this result which also coincided with the end of KI’s congress.