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Midwives Say Difficult to Leave Jobs

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Midwives Say Difficult to Leave Jobs

Midwives Protest in Reykjavík

Midwives and their supporters protest in Reykjavík. Photo: Golli.

Twelve midwife resignations took effect yesterday at the National University Hospital of Iceland, Kjarninn reports. The resignations – along with an approaching work-to-rule strike – will greatly impact maternity wards across Iceland.

The twelve resignations are the result of a 10-month-long wage dispute between the Icelandic Association of Midwives and the government. In an interview with Morgunblaðið, six of those resigning stated it was very difficult to leave their jobs. They had hoped to see an agreement reached before their resignations took effect, but they add that they do not regret their decision.

“We want the government to take action. [Minister of Finance] Bjarni Benediktsson holds the wallet, but I still place most of the blame on the prime minister, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, as the cause. She hasn’t done her job,” María Rebekka Þórisdóttir, one of the midwives whose resignation took effect yesterday, told Morgunblaðið.

Midwives also voted 90% in favour of a work-to-rule strike yesterday, which will take effect later this month. The action is intended to urge the government to reconsider compensation for the profession. The strike will take effect in all healthcare institutions around the country, with the exception of local clinics.

The parliamentary Welfare Committee is expected to convene on Tuesday to discuss the issue.

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