The first chapter of the CAPS Act defines the scope and right to collective agreements. By law, public sector unions must meet certain criteria in order to have the right to negotiate collective agreements. The first thing that, in this respect, ignores the private sector to the public sector is the fact that the law provides that only a union has the right to negotiate agreements with the same employer for the same class of employers. However, there are a few exceptions to this issue following a 2007 labour tribunal decision. The agreement is indeed broad and goes beyond simple wage increases; it also includes amendments that are managed by the government and the Central Bank and apply from April 1 of this year to November 1, 2022. This is what is at stake: the Efling union and its allied unions (VR, L`V, Framsén, VLFA and VLFG) last night concluded a collective agreement with representatives of the company`s management, including the direct participation of state measures and central bank policies. Arbitration in Iceland often involves, even if not always, government involvement, and this specific agreement provides for the Icelandic government to play an active role. The vast majority of VR members work in accordance with the VR and SA agreement. Individual unions and employers or employers` organizations are, under the TUI Act, the legal partners of collective agreements. This is not the case for the public sector under the CAPS Act, since trade unions or their associations are the legal contracting parties and therefore the equivalent can only be the state or the municipalities Despite the aforementioned article 3 of the CAPS of 1986, which provides that the Minister of Finance exercises the mandate of collective bargaining on behalf of the Icelandic government. There are some differences of opinion as to the interpretation of the concept of “to whom trade union actions are directed” (s. 14) and (Article 15) in CAPS and in the recent findings of the labour tribunal. The collective agreement applies from April 1, 2019 to November 1, 2022.
The collective agreement pays particular attention to improving wage conditions for low-wage workers. The wage increases contained in the agreement are all in the form of monthly wage increases. The agreement will enter into force from January 1, 2016 until December 1, 2018. It contains significant additions to the increases that were negotiated last year. The agreement is based on a framework agreement between labour market companies of 27 October 2015 and the Pension Rights Protocol of 5 May 2011 and aims to ensure equal wage developments on the basis of a common wage policy and pension rights compensation. The contract and salary schedules can be found below. One of the key themes of this ongoing conflict was the concept of employment democracy; workers have a greater say in defining their working conditions and benefits. This new agreement gives workers in a given workplace the right to set a full-time work week of 36 hours, whether it is the minor reduction of each working day or, for example, by producing Friday half-days. However, for Efling workers, this means you have to give up your paid coffee breaks.