Two-year collective agreement for government employees

An agreement for 225,000 government employees was the first to emerge in the current bargaining round. It introduces a new salary scale, by way of experimentation

On 21 February 1997, theMinistry of Finance and the Danish Central Federation of State Employees (CFU) signed a new collective agreement for the period 1997-9, covering 225,000 government employees. The parties agreed on a total 4.25% increase, of which 2.9% is to be allocated for a general pay rise, and 1.35% for pensions and other purposes. Additionally, a wage adjustment scheme has been introduced to take account of private sector increases

According to the Minister of Finance, Mogens Lykketoft, the agreement is "responsible and takes account of the need to restrict cost increases, which will benefit the employment situation, and ensure an improvement in real wages".Ove Hygum, the chair of CFU, said the result was "economically sound for both parties".

The most disputed issue in bargaining was the reform of the salary scale, and the new collective agreement sets out a step-by-step approach to the introduction of a new scale. From 1 January 1998, for a minimum period of three years, government institutions can undertake experiments with a new salary scale system, covering all personnel in one or more institutions, or one group of employees in a single institution. The experiments will be based on a centrally-determined basic salary, supplemented by three types of allowances: an allowance based on the employee's functions, measured by tasks; an allowance based on qualifications, measured by educational background and work experience; and an allowance based on results. All the allowances will be subject to local bargaining between shop stewards and management, and will not affect the salary of those presently in employment. The parties believe that the introduction of a new salary scale will help to attract and maintain qualified employees and to improve the linkage between the wage settlement and the aims and strategies of institutions. It will also reflect the individual employee's responsibility, qualifications and effort.

The agreement also provides for improved conditions for local shop stewards. The parties acknowledge that the negotiation of the three new allowances will increase the burden of responsibility on shop stewards, and therefore they will need appropriate training and enough time to carry out their duties.

From 1 October 1997, the employer's contribution to the pension scheme will be set at 12%, and at 15% for employees covered by the State Public Servants Trade Union (CO II). This is the final stage in the continuing improvement in pension schemes, provided for in the 1989, 1991 and 1993 collective agreements.

A sum of DKK 72 million has been set aside for training and further education. This can be used to ensure that employees receive normal salaries during their training and further education.

Other areas covered by the the agreement are as follows:

  • job security for older employees;
  • reduction in the number of sick days;
  • a framework agreement on work based at home;
  • job security for employees with disabilities;
  • incorporating specific references in the agreement on works councils to eradicate any form of unequal treatment; and
  • implementing the recent EU Directive on parental leave via the collective agreement.

On 26 February 1997, a new collective agreement for 662,000 employees in the regional and municipal bargaining area was agreed. The provisions of the deal reflect the settlement for government employees in terms of wage increases and the introduction of a new salary scale, and the improved conditions for shop stewards. On 4 March, affiliated unions were due to meet in the Local Government Employees' Organisation (KTO) to ratify the agreement.

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