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Midwives and Government Reach Agreement

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Midwives and Government Reach Agreement

Midwives Protest in Reykjavík

Midwives and their supporters at a protest last month. Photo: Golli.

A ten-month-long wage dispute between the Icelandic Association of Midwives and the government may be over, RÚV reports. An agreement was reached between the two parties thanks to the National University Hospital of Iceland. “What happened was that the National University Hospital has agreed to reassess the job description and responsibilities of midwives at the institution and apply that to its payroll,” stated Katrín Sif Sigurgeirsdóttir, chairperson of the Association of Midwives. Since the hospital is the largest single employer of midwives in Iceland, the decision is significant.

Voting on the contract begins today and is scheduled to be completed by Wednesday.

The ten-month-long dispute has led to two strikes and over 20 midwife resignations. Midwives argue that their wages and working conditions do not reflect their level of education and the responsibility inherent in their profession.

A work-to-rule strike at the hospital which had begun last week has been called off due to the development. Katrín expressed hope that the agreement would encourage midwives who had resigned from their positions to return to work.

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