By the end of April 2018, new agreements for a three year period for all 745,000 public employees in Denmark have been reached. The agreements are to be sent out for ballots within the trade unions - and the results are to be released on 6 June 2018. If the majority within a trade union vote against the agreement, strike and lockout may be effective as at 11 June 2018.

In general, the three big issues for the new collective agreements for the public employees have been addressed as follows:

  • The salaries are to be increased by 8.1 per cent over three years.
  • The lunch break paid by the employers has been included in the agreements.
  • The teachers did not get the negotiated working time agreement, however, a new fact-finding committee on the teachers’ working time is to be set up in order to analyze the challenges and possibilities of the teachers’ working time rules. The committee is to complete its work by the end of 2019. Immediately after the completion of the commission’s work, there are to be new negotiations on the teachers’ working time, which have to be completed for the next collective agreement, not later than 2021. Till then, the teachers’ working time is to be based on Law 409 passed by the Danish Parliament in 2013.

During the past couple of months we have experienced a remarkable solidarity among the public employees – a solidarity that has forced the employers to improve the general pay rise for public employees from 6.7 per cent to 8.1 per cent. Also, thanks to the solidarity, the employers had to drop their ideas of individual salaries and removal of senior agreements. The nurses were facing the same demands of flexibility as we -teachers- were, but the employers had to remove this demand, as well”, stated DLF Vice President, Dorte Lange.

The stage is set for improved cooperation, at national as well as local levels. The fact that the teachers’ working time is still to be based on Law 409, and not a working time agreement, imply that teachers in Denmark will have support from the public and the trade unions to achieve a collective agreement on the teachers’ working time.