Strike set to hit Oslo schools

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Photo: Fredrik Varfjell/Scanpix
10:23 CEST+02:00
Pre-schools, schools and nursing homes in Oslo are set to be hit by strike action after two of the four trade unions representing workers employed by the city pulled out of wage talks on Wednesday morning.

After a week of negotiations, labour groups Unio and YS Kommune announced that 635 workers would go on strike in an initial round of industrial action.

”It’s regrettable that Oslo’s inhabitants will now be affected by a strike. There’s no other option than a strike when the city is not willing to give employees higher wages that are in line with those received by other groups in society,” said Unio Oslo’s chief negotiator Terje Vilno.

The first group to go out on strike will be Unio members who had planned to start work at midday on Wednesday.

These will be joined on Thursday morning by further Unio-affiliated workers along with members of the YS union.

”Shift workers will be the first to go out, which typically means employees at nursing homes, retirement homes and similar operations. On Thursday, schools, pre-schools and administrative offices will also be affected,” said Vilno, as Unio presented a list of all the workplaces (pdf) set to be hit be its strike action.

 ”Oslo city set an ultimatum whereby we had to approve a framework of less than four percent if we were to achieve a broad-based solution. We felt we were too far apart from one another to build a bridge,” said Vilno.

The city’s Conservative Party governing mayor, Stian Berger Røsland, said Oslo residents would soon feel the effects of the strike.

”It’s disappointing and surprising that two of the organizations have chosen to go on strike,” he told news agency NTB.

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”We thought the mediation process was satisfactory and constructive. It’s difficult to see what they want to achieve with a conflict.”

Røsland urged members of the public to get in touch with individual workplaces or check the city’s websites s for information on the concrete ramifications of the strike.  

Representatives for the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) and labour group Akademikerne planned to continue negotiations.

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