Representatives of the Association of Surgeons in Iceland and the Icelandic state signed a wage agreement at around 00:30 am last night after 14 hours of consecutive talks. Further strikes planned by surgeons, who have been striking on and off since November 4, have been called off.
The agreement will now be presented to the association’s members for approval. The association’s chair Helgi Kjartan Sigurðsson told RÚV that he is content with the agreement and that he is certain surgeons will vote in its favor.
Helgi added that he hopes the new agreement will persuade doctors to work in Iceland. “At least I hope that this marks the beginning of the journey of restoring the healthcare system.” He commented that the agreement doesn’t completely correct the wages of surgeons but that it is the first step in the right direction.
Gunnar Björnsson, who chairs the state’s negotiation committee, stated he is pleased that the round of negotiations is through, adding that he is fairly content with the agreement.
It includes a shuffling of the previous wage contract, revolutionizing the salary system and work arrangement, Gunnar revealed. He would not discuss further details until after the agreement has been approved.
The agreement between surgeons and the state follows the agreement reached between the Icelandic Medical Association and the Icelandic state the previous night.