Thursday, May 26

No to extra pay rises for public employees this year

Negotiation leader Steffen Handal in the employee organization Unio earlier this week came out with a proposal to his rivals Fagforbundet in LO to use this year’s collective bargaining agreement to give an extra wage increase for the public sector.

Now he gets an answer, from the largest LO union in the private sector: Fellesforbundet. And union leader Jørn Eggum’s answer is crystal clear. Unio can only forget this.

UNIO: Steffen Handal. The picture is from a strike in the municipal sector, May 2021. Photo: Truls Aagedal / TV 2

– Unio is allowed to line up, and when they negotiate, they are allowed to make their priorities within the framework. Because we do it in the front subject, says Jørn Eggum to TV 2.


Steffen Handal is the union leader in the Education Association. Teachers and Nurses make up the two largest groups in Unio, and both have signaled fresh wage demands ahead of this year’s main collective bargaining agreement. But Handals Frieri til Fagforbundet in LO, which organizes employees in the municipal sector, meets an icy shoulder from LO’s second-largest union, Fellesforbundet in the private sector.

And precisely Fellesforbundet represents the front subject – a competitive sector in the industry, which in a federal collective bargaining agreement traditionally sets the framework that all other groups in society must relate to.

– If Unio wants higher salaries, for example for teachers and nurses, then it must be at the expense of other Unio members, not you in the private sector?

Arrange yourself!

– They have to prioritize that themselves. I think it is at least completely hair-raising if we are to mix politics within this here, says Fellesforbundet’s leader, Jørn Eggum.

POLITICS: The union's leader, Jørn Eggum, does not want to mix politics.  Photo: Sorosh Sadat / TV 2

POLITICS: The union’s leader, Jørn Eggum, does not want to mix politics. Photo: Sorosh Sadat / TV 2

He makes it clear that Fellesforbundet is ready to take the lead in this spring’s wage settlement and set a ceiling and a framework for what can be given by wage supplements in 2022, without weakening Norwegian competitiveness. And if he gets his demands met, it will mean a real wage increase for most people.

– Now it’s the turn of ordinary workers. Many companies have made good money, despite the corona epidemic. The price increase last year was close to 3.5 per cent, while wages increased by only 2.8. This means that we lost purchasing power in 2021. We will have that again this year, but what it means in percent and kroner and øre we will return to in February, says Jørn Eggum.

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