Federation of State and Municipal Employees
BSRB, Federation of State and Municipal Employees, is the biggest union
of employees in public service in Iceland. Our members work in the
fields of postal services, customs, police, fire resistance, health
care, education of pre-school children to name but a few. BSRB-members
are employed by local governments as well as the state.
BSRB is a confederation of 27 unions. Since BSRB was founded in 1942 the membership has increased steadily and is now approximately 21.000 members, whereof two thirds are women. The total working force of Iceland is close to 150.000.
The unions in BSRB have the collective bargaining right. Sometimes the unions bargain individually but often under the auspices of BSRB. Since 1986 the unions have the right to strike, although their right is subjected to more restrictions than in the private sector.
BSRB unites its unions in the struggle for a comprehensive welfare state. In previous years this has really been a battle, as funds for various welfare services have been slashed quite substantially. At the same time the right wing governments in power this decade have acted like the privatization of public firms and intitutions is the solution of all problems in the Icelandic economy. BSRB has challenged privatization for the sake of privatization. On the other hand BSRB has not categorically rejected privatization as such.