Slim settlements and a possible conflict to be expected – University of Copenhagen

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08 January 2013

Slim settlements and a possible conflict to be expected

Research paper by Mikkel Mailand

The collective bargaining round in 2013 in the public sector will be conducted under tight economic conditions. This was also the case for the bargaining round in 2011, but this time it is more likely that the negotiations could end in conflict. It is especially significant demands from the employers’ side of the table, about eliminating certain rules of work in the education area, that makes a conflict likely.

There will also be opposition to the demands regarding reducing the current protection of union representatives and the senior-related benefits. The biggest issue, along with the discussion on teachers’ working hours, will be the state employer's demands of removing the system that regulates and binds wages in the public sector to the wages in the private sector.

Employee organisations want to keep the wage regulation system, to defend the general wage increases and put maximum effort on the security of the employees. However, most of their demands on “traditional safety”, such as longer period of notice and redundancy pay, are no longer present.

What matters now is to assist those loosing their job and to invest in the value of the employees, through for instance competence development. Equal opportunities is also an important requirement from the employees this time, just like a new defined focus has arisen on terms as trust, quality in jobs, professionalism and psycho-social work environment.