No new collective agreement for universities just yet

The sixth round of negotiations between universities and union negotiators on June 1 still hasn’t produced a new collective agreement. The old one expired on March 31 and was automatically extended.

According to union FNV, the negotiations led to some progress, but not enough to take it to their members. This year, the negotiations focused on topics such as more permanent contracts for lecturers, as well as a pay increase to compensate for inflation.

Secondary school

While the unions had hoped to get down to brass tacks during these last negotiations, there were several reasons they weren’t able to, they say. The FNV mentioned the ultimatum that primary and secondary education representatives issued to the ministry of Education, Culture, and Science. These sectors want a 12 percent pay increase. If they don’t get it, they will strike in September.

The ministry is expected to answer the demands within the next two weeks. The unions say they don’t want to interfere in this process and that they have to await the ministry’s answer to understand how this might impact the other educational institutes, financially or otherwise. 

More permanent contracts

The FNV also says no proper agreements about driving back temporary contracts for lecturers. 

The unions want more structural work in the form of permanent contracts for lecturers. This agreement was reached last year but it wasn’t drawn up concretely because a quick pay rise took precedence. But the universities did agree that they would look into how to implement that this year. 

The unions are no longer satisfied with informal agreements; they want concrete promises that the universities have to keep. The unions expect an answer to all the topics on June 28, after which they expect to introduce the new agreements to their members.

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