Wednesday, January 19

Warns of sky-high wage demands after the electricity crisis

Record-high electricity prices and rising prices for other goods mean that YS, with its 230,000 members, is demanding a sharp jump in wages.

NOT THE SPRING MOST BEAUTIFUL ?: Hans-Erik Skjæggerud in the workers’ organization YS warns that there may be a hot wage settlement this spring.


The government can get the spring strike of the times in its lap if the price of electricity is not compensated further, warns YS deputy leader Hans-Erik Skjæggerud.

In the wage settlement, it was assumed that a price increase in 2021 of 2.8 per cent.

It ended with a limit of 2.7 in wage supplements.

But since then, the conditions have changed dramatically.

– The sky-high electricity and fuel prices have blasted the estimate of inflation. The consumer price index rose as much as 5.1 percent from November 2020 to November 2021, says the YS deputy head to VG.

He says that they agreed with the employers to preserve purchasing power in 2021, ie that assumed price growth and wage growth should end approximately equally.

– In reality, we get the biggest decline in purchasing power in many years, because prices rose much more than expected, Skjæggerud says.

Five percent

He says this is money that will find its way back to members’ wallets.

– We will of course have compensated for this. If the government does not come up with an even better package, we may risk wage demands from ordinary workers of more than five percent wage growth.

– Are you saying that you will demand a five percent wage increase in this spring’s wage settlement?

– It is too early to quantify the wage demands we will promote this spring. It will be up to the members and unions that represent these, but with simple calculations based on the lower wage development we received in 2021, expected price growth in 2022 and the feedback from our basic plan, no requirement of more than five percent is an unnatural level, says 1. the deputy leader of the Central Confederation of Professional Organizations (YS), which has 229,000 members.

By comparison, LO has almost one million members.

POWER: Hans-Erik Skjæggerud says they have received a landslide of feedback from members that the power package is not good enough.

He says it is not just energy prices that will contribute to extra high demands this year.

– In addition, interest rates are rising, and the prices of some imported goods are rising.

He says that the Støre government can contribute before the settlement begins.

– The government should compensate for inflation from 2020-2021, especially for those with lower incomes. It should happen quickly. This should be done through a greatly improved power package.

– Spring strike of the times

Before Christmas, the government presented its electricity package where the main measure was to cover 55 percent of people’s electricity bills over 70 øre per. kilowatt hour.

– If that does not happen, we have no choice but to shift the cost of inflation to the parties to the settlement in all sectors. Then we risk the strike spring of all time, says Skjæggerud.

He says that the electricity shock especially goes beyond members with low and medium incomes.

– So ordinary people. We have received a landslide of feedback from our members in this pay scale who say that the government’s electricity package is not enough and that they are struggling with payments.


Stein Lier-Hansen, CEO of NHO’s largest association, Norsk Industri, which is YS ‘counterpart in key industries in the private sector, says it is too early to quantify or go into detail about the upcoming wage settlement.

– We are waiting for TBU before we want to say something more concrete, says Lier-Hansen with reference to the Technical Calculation Committee (TBU), which will soon present figures for wage developments.

COUNTERPARTY: Stein Lier-Hansen’s Norwegian Industry is usually the central counterparty for LO / YS and the other employee organizations in the wage settlement in the private sector, which sets the framework for the other settlements.

– However, we will in any case prioritize ensuring the industry’s competitiveness, which TBU will say something about in relation to the development of the industry in countries we compete with.

He adds:

– It is always the case that the expected price increase will affect the settlement, as well as any measures from the government in relation to electricity prices and measures related to working life in connection with the pandemic and thus the situation in general in working life.

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