Believes escalating teachers’ strike could lead to a forced salary committee – NRK Trøndelag

This week, the Association for Education announced a further escalation of the teachers’ strike. On Monday 19 September 1,800 new teachers will be put on strike and pupils up to the 2nd grade will be affected.

There will therefore be about 8,100 teachers on strike, on strike in all counties of the country.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Minister of Education Tonje Brenna (AP) asked the parties to commit themselves to find a solution.

– The forced wage pension appears more likely than before.

This is what Kristine Nergaard, researcher on working life at FAFO (The Trade Union Center for Research, Investigation and Documentation) says.

Different factors of influence

Nergaard points out three moves in recent days that he believes have increased the odds of a pay committee:

  • The escalation was reported on Monday
  • He expressed concern on the part of the Minister of Education
  • Letter from the Children’s Ombudsman to the Ministry of Education

It was earlier this week that the children’s ombudsman expressed concern that the strike would affect vulnerable children, in a letter to the Ministry of Education. The Children’s Ombudsman calls for measures from municipalities to protect these children.

– Municipalities are responsible for providing the services. Municipalities need to give feedback to the ministry if they are able to solve the task assigned to them, says Nergaard.

The measures of the municipalities can therefore be decisive for further developments of the strike, according to the FAFO researcher.

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Kristine Nergaard is a working life researcher at FAFO and believes we will see a solution to the conflict within the next week.


Vulnerable children as a topic

The threshold for using a compulsory pension must be high, as this is considered an intervention in the right to strike.

Forced payment cards can be used in situations where a conflict threatens life and health. This will always be a matter of evaluation, according to the researcher.

– What you can build on if you take this path, which is not certain, is to follow vulnerable students and those in need of special education. It may be added that there have been 2-3 years with the crown and a number of closed schools and that this adds to the challenges.

Nergaard says that in this way it can be justified that a group during the strike and the pandemic had further challenges and became more exposed.

Letter from parents to ministers

Earlier this week also posted 92 parents of school pupils in Lillestrøm and Bergen a letter to the Minister of Childhood and the Family Kjersti Toppe and to the Minister of Health and Welfare Ingvild Kjerkol.

Parents stressed in the letter that the Convention on the Rights of the Child states that all children have the right to go to school and the right to be heard and taken into consideration. They point out that this convention takes precedence over Norwegian law if they oppose each other.

– We support the teachers’ strike, but we are very critical of how they planned the strike. It hits very hard, said Olve Sæther Hansen, one of the parents behind the letter.

Olve Saether Hansen

Olve Sæther Hansen is one of the parents who signed a critical letter to the government.

Photo: Leif Rune Løland / NRK

Expect a solution within the next week

Nergaard believes there must be a willingness on the part of the parties to stretch over the weekend or early next week if wage retirement is to be avoided.

– It is always better for the parties to be able to find a solution, and the parties themselves will likely generally think that it is better for them to work it out on their own, rather than a salary advice, says Nergaard and adds:

– It is not certain that they will succeed, but that they will try, I think so.

The solution will likely come through further negotiations or from the conflicting parties who want a voluntary tribunal. This happens when the parties want the conflict resolved by a National Salaries Board decision.

– When do you think we can see a solution?

– I think this has been going on for so long that when we have a new withdrawal and these signs that the parties need to speed up to find a solution, I suppose we will know where it ends in about a week, says Nergaard.

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