Powerful solidarity of members of Efling in a wage dispute with SÍS

23. 03, 2020

A challenge to the mayors of Kópavogur and Seltjarnarnes to demonstrate to their employees who are members of Efling the same respect which the employees themselves have for their work, by commencing negotiations with Efling, is the common thread which runs through the numerous statements issued by the employees of the two municipalities to the mayors.Sixty union representatives in the City of Reykjavík declared their willingness to do their part in the struggle of the employees and their counterparts in Mosfellsbær, Hveragerði and Ölfus with the Icelandic Association of Local Authorities (Samband íslenskra sveitarfélaga – SÍS). The agreement of Efling on behalf of this group expired a year ago. The strike has been in progress for just over two weeks and no meeting has been scheduled.The statement sent to mayor Ármann Kr. Ólafsson by home care-workers in Kópavogur, who are members of Efling, says that Efling has managed to move a step closer to correct the lowest wages in negotiations with the City of Reykjavík and the state. The employees say that they don’t understand why the municipal authorities don’t want to negotiate with Efling on the same basis. “Are we not worth it?” they ask.School assistants in several primary schools in Kópavogur voice their agreement. They remind the mayor that they do the same jobs, within the same union and the same employment area as their counterparts within the City of Reykjavík. Nevertheless, the mayor refuses to agree to the same wage raises as were agreed upon with the City of Reykjavík. They reiterate the fact that at the same time as an exemption for cleaning services in schools is demanded, the will to negotiate seems to be almost non-existent.Care-workers within Seltjarnarnes point to the increased value of their work in the battle against Covid-19. “We are professional in our work. We tend to our clients with diligence and respect. Our work is difficult and demanding but we still want to do it. We are diligent in the work with which society has entrusted us,” the employees say in their statement, which calls on Seltjarnarnes to demonstrate the same respect for them as they have for their own work at Seltjarnarnes.Sixty union representatives of Efling with the City of Reykjavík declare their unequivocal support for their counterparts within the other municipalities. “The local authorities are gravely mistaken if they think they can deprive low wage earners of their wage raises just because the media’s attention is focused on other events. We will never agree to that and it will never be accepted,” the statement reads.The union representatives declare their willingness to do their part, “with the masses and their solidarity as our weapon, to ensure an acceptable resolution for our fellow workers.”Here you can sign a petition to urge the municipalities to come to terms with Efling.