Shorter work week also for public sector shift workers

04.05.2021 - 09:52
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 Mynd: RÚV
Public sector shift workers started working shorter hours from 1st May after an extensive period of planning. Day workers started benefiting from the shorter working week on 1st January.

Two out of every three nurses are shift workers and the leader of their union, Guðbjörg Pálsdóttir, says the change comes after a decades'-long battle. Nurses will now work full-time hours of 32 to 36 a week.

"We have been fighting for 80 percent hours on shift work to count as 100 percent. And that is actually the outcome if one ends on a 32-hour week. It brings greater separation of work and private life and should also ensure the quality and safety of the service, and that is what we want most of all. This is the sort of advancement we haven't seen in 40 years," Guðbjörg says.

The change also comes as a pay rise for some nurses whose employment ratio goes up while their hours stay the same. For example, a nurse who worked 80 percent might now be registered as 100 percent for the same hours and be paid accordingly.

As well as nurses, the change affects 96 percent of all shift workers employed by the state or by municipalities: some 9,000 people at 700 workplaces.

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