First 1998 pay agreement will run for only six months

A collective agreement for around 80,000 salaried employees in Sweden's commerce, trade and the service sectors, concluded in November 1997, provides for pay increases of 1.5%. The parties aimed at an agreement which would run for the whole calendar year of 1998, but could reach only an agreement of six months' duration.

Six employers' organisations cooperating under the title of the Swedish Federation of Trade, Commerce and Service (Svensk Handel och Tjänsteföretagen) and two trade unions for salaried employees, the Association of Graduate Engineers (Civilingenjörsförbundet, CF) and Salaried Employees' Union (Handelstjänstemannaförbundet, HTF) were the first to reach an agreement on pay for 1998. The agreement, which covers around 80,000 workers, runs only until 30 June 1998. This means that, according to their new procedural agreement (SE9709139N), the parties will have to begin negotiating again in April 1998 at the latest.

Pay is to be increased by a total of 1.5%, to be allocated with regard to the worker's responsibilities and the difficulty of the task, and how the worker fulfils these requirements. However, every full-time employee will receive an increase of at least SEK 150.

In addition, the parties have agreed to changes in the general terms of employment. Henceforth all overtime work will be registered and all employees will be entitled to overtime compensation. The parties at company level may however agree that certain employees shall be compensated by higher monthly wages or longer holidays instead.

As an innovation, HTF has also made an alternative agreement with the employers, which gives the parties at company level the scope to make their own settlement on pay without taking the central agreement into account, provided that there is a local trade union branch and that the parties agree.

Another novelty is that the parties have agreed on a recommendation on how the terms of employment for teleworkers should be decided.

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