Efling calls on Kópavogur to honor its commitments regarding the shortening of the work week

29. 01, 2021

Efling-union has sent a letter to the mayor of Kópavogur, Ármann Kr. Ólafsson and the head of human resources for Kópavogur, Þorsteinn Einarsson, calling on the local authorities of Kópavogur to honor its commitments in the current collective agreement regarding the shortening of the work week.One of the most important clauses of the agreement stipulates that Kópavogur is commited to collaborating with the staff on a plan to shorten the work week by up to 4 hours each week, given a 40 hour work week.In a survey among Efling members working for Kópavogur, over half of the respondents say that the shortening of the work week has not been implemented in their workplace. A large majority of those whose work week has been shortened have only been granted a minimal shortening and only a few employees have seen their working hours shortened by 2-4 hours per week.Unfortunately, the response of the local authorities of Kópavogur to the collaboration regarding the shortening of the work week for Efling members has been entirely unsatisfactory. Members of Efling in primary schools have been pressured to accept the arrangement that the shortening of the work week only consists of being paid for work on school days off during winter holidays and major holidays. This arrangement doesn’t lead to any shortening from the current state of affairs.Judging by the announcement of the shortening of the service hours of the municipal offices in Kópavogur, where most employees belong to unions of professional workers, one might conclude that the local authorities of Kópavogur discriminates on the basis of union membership and it is unacceptable that workers and low-wage earners should receive the least benefits of all.“I hardly knew whether to laugh or cry when I saw the results regarding Kópavogur with regards to the shortening of the work week. Indispensable home care workers who have worked under enormous stress during the Covid-epidemic receives only the bare minimum shortening of the work week. And our people in the primary schools, who are also indispensible employees, find themselves in the unacceptable position of not having their work week shortened at all after having been pressured by representatives of the local authorities of Kópavogur. Whose work week is then actually shortened? The employees of the municipal offices, where it has been decided that the doors should close at 1pm on Fridays. It’s plain to see that quality of life is unevenly distributed in Kópavogur,” says Sólveig Anna Jónsdóttir, chairman Eflingar.