Quality of life contract survived

14.10.2020 - 09:52
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 Mynd: RÚV
A potentially important piece of news that may have passed some people by two weeks ago is that the board of the SA Confederation of Icelandic Enterprise voted unanimously not to abandon the ‘quality of life contract’ signed last year between many unions, employers, and the government. There had been discussion about whether the COVID economic crisis nullified the pay and conditions deal.

For employers to back out of the agreed pay rises and other changes would have risked a wave of new industrial action, however. 

SA had planned to ballot its members, companies in Iceland, but the unanimous decision of the board two weeks ago means the vote was cancelled and the current contract continues as before. 

A statement said that the board had assessed the actions being taken by the State and reacted accordingly. The current stability in the workplace is important and should be supported—especially during very tough economic times. “But it will not be bought at any price. The trades unions movement has unfortunately not been ready to discuss actions to react to the completely changed economic outlook,” the statement added. 

SA had been calling on unions to accept a postponement of January’s pay rises and the extension of the entire contract. That request was rejected. 

The SA decision was eased in cooperation with the government which has agreed to a 0.25 percent decrease in insurance fees for all of next year, tax incentives, and additional support for operators suffering the worst from the coronavirus crisis. 

Halldór Benjamín Þorbergsson (pictured), SA director, described the decision a fortnight ago as being the better of two bad options. 

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Alexander Elliott
Project manager
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