Around 50 union reps from Efling members’ workplaces far and wide in the labor market came together last Wednesday for the first union rep course of the operations year. This is many times more participants than in courses in the previous years.
The program began at 8:30 am and continued until half past three in the afternoon. Teaching took place in the well equipped Efling Community Center on the 4th floor of Guðrúnartún 1.
Sólveig Anna Jónsdóttir chairman of Efling launched the course at the start of the program. After that, Ingólfur B. Jónsson head of the department of labor rights gave a lecture about vacation rights, and participants practiced the calculation of vacation days and vacation pay.
This was followed by a lecture from Stefán Ólafsson, Efling’s specialist in research on living conditions, based on the first chapters of a book he is working on called The Struggle for Means, which discusses among other things the impact of the labor movement on the development of the welfare state.
After the lunch break participants did light yoga exercises under the guidance of Eygló Egils who teaches at Jakkafatajóga (Yoga in a Suit). This variation in the heavy study program was much appreciated. After that, Viðar Þorsteinsson director of education and membership affairs discussed the coming round of collective bargaining and the important role of union reps in building connections within the union.
Enthusiasm for the survey on conditions
There was discussion about the currently ongoing survey of conditions and opinions. There has never been more participation in such a survey among Efling members, but participants in the course were determined to increase numbers even more. Union reps discussed in groups how they could collect more answers in their workplace. Union reps took flyers and posters to present in their workplaces.
There was a hot lunch and refreshments during breaks. Slide presentation were bilingual in Icelandic and English, and there was additionally on-screen text interpretation between Icelandic and English.
Great approval from participants
After the course, union reps filled in a short anonymous survey about their impression with the course. Here are some examples of comments:
- “Good turnout and positivity among people.”
- “It went very well.”
- “… we will achieve more if we go on this path. Involving more foreigners.”
- “Great course.”
- “Good food, good yoga and good atmosphere.”
- “Very interesting and interactive with other people, the time for the topics was good, not so exhausted.”
- “Atmosphere was great.”
- “I liked Stefán’s book chapter intro, the food was excellent, and the pauses well spaced.”
- “Very enoyable.”
- “The lectures were very good.”
- “Well organized, very well thought about us who attended the course.”
- “Great to learn about vacation rights.”
- “Fantastic to get suit yoga.”
- “Well done.”
- “This was great.”
- “Thank you!!”
In addition, participants stated approval of the of arrangement of the course. It is a novelty to have the courses monthly and to invite all union reps old and new to be part. Also, participants declared satisfaction with discussion groups and the opportunities this gave to get to know each other and discuss issues among themselves.
The courses will from now on be held once a month, for a whole day on each occasion, in the period September to May. In this way, the connections of union reps with the union and with one another will be more frequent, and more opportunities for continuing education.
All information on the union rep courses, which will continue on a monthly basis, are on the website of Efling.
The date of the next course is Wednesday October 19. All union reps are encouraged to register. More info and assistance via email firstname.lastname@example.org.