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STRIKES

More than 1,300 teachers in Norway to join strike 

From Monday, over 1,300 teachers will join a strike affecting 14 municipalities and all of Norway's counties, except Oslo, the Education Association announced Wednesday. 

Pictured is a classroom in Norway.
Some 1,300 teachers in Norway will be taken out on strike from next Monday. Pictured is a classroom in Norway.Photo by Taylor Wilcox on Unsplash

Some 1,300 teachers will join a teachers’ strike in Norway from Monday. The influx of striking teachers joins 45 education professionals who have been on strike in Bergen since before the summer holidays. 

“Ideally, our members would like to be in the classrooms and receive their students after the school holidays. But when KS chooses to make the teachers in the school pay losers for the sixth year in a row, we unfortunately have no other choice,” Steffen Handal, head of the Education Association, said in a press release. 

The union leader added that the fact more teachers aren’t being taken out on strike, to begin with, is a sign that the strike could be long-lasting with more teachers going on strike at a later date. 

However, Handal did stress that he wanted a quick resolution to the strike to be reached. 

“We want the strike to last as short as possible, but everything depends on whether KS wants to return to the negotiating table or not, Handal said. 

All of the country’s counties, apart from Oslo, will be affected by the strike. In addition, 14 municipalities will be affected by the strike. You can get an overview of which schools will be affected here

In Norway, counties are responsible for funding high-schools, while other schools are funded by the local municipality. This is why the strikes are spread across county and municipal level. 

Education unions are unhappy with the package offered to teachers by KS, which negotiates with the public sector on behalf of the government. The deal offered by KS was accepted by the public sector as a whole. 

KS has previously warned that it didn’t have much room to negotiate as the money teachers are after has been “used up“. 

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EDUCATION

Number of teachers on strike in Norway passes 8,000

Some 1,800 teachers in Norway joined an ongoing strike over wages and salary growth on Monday, bringing the number of education professionals taking industrial action to over 8,000.

Number of teachers on strike in Norway passes 8,000

The teachers’ strike in Norway stepped up again on Monday, with 1,800 new education professionals joining the industrial action.

On Sunday, the Education Association and The Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS) met with the ombudsman, but talks broke down after around two hours.

“They (KS) show no signs of movement, it is very deadlocked,” Steffen Handal, head of the Education Association, told Norwegian newswire NTB.

Handal fears that the two parties will be unable to reach an agreement, and the government will refer the two parties to a compulsory wage board to thrash out a deal.

However, the national mediation service said there would be fresh talks between the two parties shortly.

For an overview of schools affected by the strike, click here

Teachers are striking over wage growth. The feeling among union members is that education professionals have been the wage losers during collective bargaining negotiations between the public sector and KS for six years.

In May, KS’s offer for the public sector was accepted as a whole. However, teachers opted to strike as they were unhappy with the agreement.

Over the last week, a number of groups have called on the government to force the strike to an end. However, it would be unusual for the government to end the strike as it typically only forces parties to a compulsory wage board when there is a threat to public health. Additionally, the strike is complicated by the teachers’ right to strike and pupils’ right to education.

READ MORE: Could the Norwegian government force an end to the teachers’ strike?

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