Norwegian government forces teachers' strike to an end
Teachers in Norway returned to work on Wednesday following a lengthy strike due to the Norwegian government forcing industrial action over wages to an end.
Norway's government has ended the teachers' strike and forced unions and The Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS) to a compulsory wage board.
"Unfortunately, the parties have not found a solution to the conflict. The strike is now leading to serious societal consequences for children and young people. I am particularly concerned about the pupils' education, vulnerable children and young people and their mental health. After an overall assessment, I have therefore proposed a compulsory wage board," Labour and Inclusion Minister Marte Mjøs Persen said in a statement.
Teachers decided to strike in June over wage growth in recent years. Unions said teachers had been the wage losers of collective bargaining agreements between KS and the public sector for the last six years.
KS maintained throughout the strike that it did not have the funds available that teachers were demanding. Around 8,500 teachers were on strike before the government brought industrial action to an end.
Over the past few weeks, several organisations called on the government to end the strike in the interest of students' well-being.
Typically, strikes aren't referred to the compulsory wage board in Norway unless there is a threat to public health.
Last week, unions met with KS and mediators, but the parties were unable to break through the deadlock.
"It is deeply regrettable that the government has chosen to intervene with a compulsory wage board. They now assume a great deal of responsibility for what has been the basis of the conflict," Steffen Handal from the Norwegian Education Association said of the government's decision.