Equal pay for equal work!

BSRB has announced strikes for members working for municipalities starting on May 15th and on May 22nd six others will join. The first four are Kópavogur, Seltjarnarnes, Garðabær and Mosfellsbær. The six that follow are Vestmannaeyjar, Hafnarfjörður, Ölfus, Árborg, Hveragerði and Reykjanesbær.

Employees in kindergartens, primary schools, school kitchens, leisure centers and ports will go on strike but they vary between municipalities.

Why are we striking?
Negotiations with the municipalites have stranded as the employers are refusing to pay people with the same jobs, in the same workplace, within the same municipality the same wages. Other employees have already got a pay rise from January 1st, but our members are only offerred a pay rise from April 1st. This means that BSRB members get approximately 140.000kr less paid in 2023 than others. BSRB will not accept such an offer built on inequality. Therefore strike action has been planned around the country to ensure equal pay for equal work.

Who is going on strike where?
Certain members of BSRB unions in Kópavogur, Mosfellsbær, Garðabær, Hafnafjörður, Seltjarnarnes, Reykjanesbær, Árborg, Ölfus, Hveragerði and Vestmannaeyjar are going on strikes.

Kópavogur: Kindergarten and primary school workers
Mosfellsbær: Workers in kindergartens, primary schools and leisure centers
Garðabær: Kindergarten workers
Hafnafjörður: Workers in primary schools and leisure centers
Seltjarnarnes: Workers in primary schools
Reykjanesbær: Primary school workers
Árborg: Workers in kindergartens 
Ölfus: Kindergarten, school kitchens and port workers
Vestmannaeyjar: Kindergarten and port workers.

Wage payments during a strike
Wages from employer are generally deducted during a strike. It is likely that wages will be deducted for all members affected by the strike for the days of the strike.

Members who work during a strike because of an exemption list are entitled to wages for the time they work.

How is strike compensation designed?
The Labour dispute fund covers compensation because of the strike. The unions that are going to strike have decided that 30,000 ISK will be paid for each day that members of staff stop working, based on a full time job.


What is the legal status of members on strike?
The principle is that the legal relationship between the employees and the employer is terminated during a strike and the parties are not bound by the provisions of the employment contract during the time the strike lasts. In this way, wage payments are canceled during the strike and the employee's obligations to perform work likewise.

However, when the strike ends, the obligations of the parties arise again and the people are obliged to show up for work immediately and the employer is also obliged to accept his employees to work.


Who is allowed to work during a strike?
When a strike is legally started, the municipality is not allowed to contribute to averting it with the help of individual members of the association that is conducting the strike. Strike at kindergartens do not prevent other employees at the work place whom the strike does not affect to keep on carrying out their normal duties, even if they usually work alongside those who are on strike and carry out many of the same tasks. The ban means that it is not allowed to perform the work duties of the people on strike. Employees who are not on strike are not allowed to work other than their normal jobs and not more than they do normally.

Can managers join the work of members during a strike?
Senior managers can join all jobs during a strike, as they are responsible for the organization's operations. Thus, e.g. the headmaster joins the duties of a janitor and opens the school building for students and the manager at a kindergarten can carry out the work of his subordinates. There can only be one senior manager at a workplace with this privilege.

Can I take extra shifts, change shifts during a strike?
During a strike, only the existing shift report is valid. Changes to it, including extra shifts or changed shifts, are not permitted unless approved by the Exemption Committee.

Strike watch
Unions are allowed to organise a strike watch to monitor that a strike is respected. Strike guards go from place to place and make sure that the strike violations are not taking place and nobody is performing the work of strikers and that those who may be working have permission to do so. Strike guards are permitted to ensure that the above is followed, i.e. that the jobs of those who are on strike are not being attended to. In this way, they can try to prevent strike violations by suggestions, persuasion, threats of legal action, before and after the violation has started. However, a strike guard may not take the matter into his own hands by taking legal action. Jurisdiction or judicial custody is exclusively in the hands of law enforcement and it is only in exceptional cases that ordinary citizens can take judicial custody into their own hands

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