10 január 2005
Public sector collective bargaining started in earnest in December 2004, but is not expected to culminate until the first months of 2005, when the current three-year agreements signed in 2002 for municipal/county authority workers (DK0205102F ) and central government workers (DK0204103F ) expire. The negotiations are the first since several structural changes that took place in late 2003. The Health Cartel (Sundhedskartellet) of trade unions- in which the Danish Nurses’ Organisation (Dansk Sygeplejeråd, DSR) is the largest union - withdrew from the joint negotiation body in the county/municipal sector, the Association of Local Government Employees’ Organisations (Kommunale Tjenestemænd og Overenskomstansatte, KTO) (DK0312101N ). At the same time, KTO decided to conduct future negotiations in 'reverse order' compared with earlier practice, so that a number of themes are first negotiated between the individual trade unions and the employer side. It is only afterwards that the general negotiations will start between KTO and the four employers' organisations - the National Association of Local Government Employees’ Organisations (Kommunernes Landsforening, KL), the Danish Federation of County Councils (Amtsrådsforeningen, ARF) and the municipalities of Copenhagen and Frederiksberg. It was especially the withdrawal of the nurses' union that has given rise to concern. The fact that DSR has chosen to go its own way involves a risk of a breakdown, with the Health Cartel seeking a pay rise which is above that for other county/municipal staff, and also a more or less radical break with the public sector's 'New wage' (Ny Løn) decentralised pay scheme (DK0409104F ). The new model of starting the negotiations at individual union level was developed to take into account the wishes of the Health Cartel and DSR.  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined/municipalcounty-sector-deal-narrowly-approved  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined/three-year-agreement-concluded-in-central-government-sector  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/health-unions-to-leave-municipal-bargaining-unit  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/new-wage-system-will-be-difficult-issue-in-regionalmunicipal-bargaining
06 december 2004
In recent years, a number of municipalities have initiated experiments with flexible forms of working time organisation. An experiment with employees alternating three days of work and three days off - the so-called '3-3 model'- was completed in November 2004 in the municipality of Præstø, to the south of Copenhagen. The project was reportedly not a success. Only one third of the employees involved now wish to continue to work on the basis of the new model, and when the pilot project was launched about a year previously, about one third of the employees chose to change to another job because they did not want to work under the new working time schedule. The model of alternating periods of three days work and three days off was copied from a scheme in Sweden, where the results are good, with lower sickness absence and greater job satisfaction. However, the outcomes have not been the same in Denmark.
01 december 2004
On 2 November 2004, the coalition government of the Liberal Party (Venstre) and the Conservative Party (Det Konservative Folkeparti) and three opposition parties - the Social Democratic Party (Socialdemokratiet), the Social Liberal Party (Radikale Venstre) and the Socialist People’s Party (Socialistisk Folkeparti) - agreed in parliament (the Folketing) a 'national compromise' concerning the Danish referendum on the EU Constitutional Treaty (EU0406204F ). This is a repetition of a first national compromise reached on a similar theme in 1993, when the last party to accept the deal was - as also this occasion - the Socialist People’s Party. Under the new agreement, referenda on Denmark's current 'opt-outs' from various aspects of EU cooperation (eg including non-participation in the third stage of Economic and Monetary Union - DK0004175F ) have been postponed for several years. The five parties agreed that no vote can take place concerning one or more of the Danish opt-outs at the same time as the referendum on acceptance of the EU Constitutional Treaty. According to the agreement, all parties have a right of veto and the accord may be changed or abolished only unanimously. The parties have agreed that the agreement shall run for the same period as the new Treaty.  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/agreement-reached-on-constitutional-treaty  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined-industrial-relations/unions-and-employers-organisations-both-recommend-a-danish-yes-to-emu
09 november 2004
In October 2004, the European Company Statute came into force (EU0206202F ), allowing for the creation of a new type of company incorporated at European level. These European Companies may be set up in various ways, including the transformation of an existing EU-based company with subsidiaries in another Member State. Nordea, the leading financial services group in the Nordic and Baltic Sea region - currently listed on the Stockholm, Helsinki and Copenhagen stock exchanges - has announced its intention to be one of the first companies to take on the new European Company form, though no date has been fixed yet.  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/european-company-statute-in-focus
27 október 2004
Nearly three out four Danish employees believe that in future there should be more room in collective agreements for individual prioritisation between more time off, higher pension contributions or higher wages. This is a key finding of a recent study carried out by Professor Steen Scheuer of Roskilde University Centre (Roskilde Universitetscenter, RUC) in connection with a major research project entitled 'Working life and politics 2', conducted by researchers from the Universities of Aalborg and Roskilde. The study has not yet been published. Its key findings on free choice within collective agreements and a number of other issues are summarised below.
27 október 2004
If Denmark is to continue to be one of the wealthiest countries in the world and at the same time secure a relatively even distribution of incomes, an important prerequisite will be a high level of knowledge and competences throughout the entire labour force and a flexible labour market. This was the message of a speech by Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen to parliament (the Folketing) on 1 October 2004.
04 október 2004
In a ballot held in May/June 2004, the members of the General Workers’ Union (Specialarbejderforbundet i Danmark, SiD) and the National Union of Female Workers (Kvindeligt Arbejderforbund, KAD) overwhelmingly approved a merger proposed by the leaderships of the two trade unions (DK0406103F ). The two unions, both mainly organising unskilled workers, are affiliated to the Confederation of Danish Trade Unions (Landsorganisationen i Danmark, LO). Before the merger ballot, there had been a long and well-prepared campaign aimed at ensuring that the members of the two unions (both skilled and unskilled) were well informed about the process (DK0211105F ). The unions' leaderships were keen to avoid a 'no' vote, not least in the light of several recent failed union mergers (DK0111102N  and DK0110101N ).  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/two-major-unskilled-workers-unions-agree-merger  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/three-unions-plan-merger  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/merger-between-childcare-workers-unions-abandoned  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/merger-of-electricians-and-metalworkers-unions-rejected-by-members
04 október 2004
On 29 September 2004, the main employers' organisation in finance, the Danish Employers’ Association for the Financial Sector (Finansektorens Arbejdsgiverforening, FA) announced to the media its proposals for the industry's forthcoming collective bargaining round in early 2005 (to replace a two-year agreement concluded in 2003 - DK0302102F ). FA argues that younger workers should be given a choice as whether or not to pay the employee's contribution to their supplementary ('labour market') pension scheme, which is regulated by collective agreements. Employees under the age of 35 have enough expenses at this time of their life and their pension contribution can wait, FA argues. This proposal is controversial in that it breaks with the principle behind Denmark's collectively agreed labour market pensions, according to which the employer and employee must each set aside a fixed percentage of the wage for an occupational pension (TN0404101S ). Generally, the employers’ share is two-thirds and the employees' one-third.  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/new-agreements-introduce-individual-options-for-employees  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/erm/comparative-information/occupational-pensions-and-industrial-relations
26 szeptember 2004
Late 2004 and early 2005 will see collective bargaining in the public sector, when the current three-year agreements signed in 2002 for municipal and regional authority workers (DK0205102F ) and central government workers (DK0204103F ) expire. Bargaining must be completed by 1 April 2005, covering about 650,000 employees in the regional and municipal sectors and about 160,000 employees in the central government sector. The specific demands for the negotiations are due to be exchanged on 5 October 2004. However, the municipal and regional authorities have already indicated that they want the 'new wage' (Ny Løn) system introduced in April 1998 (DK9705110F ) to be expanded. They also want the new agreement to run for a period of three years.  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined/municipalcounty-sector-deal-narrowly-approved  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined/three-year-agreement-concluded-in-central-government-sector  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined-working-conditions/the-1997-danish-collective-bargaining-round-completed
23 szeptember 2004
Extra hours worked by employees after an unlawful strike in order to make up for production lost due to the strike count as overtime work and not as ordinary working time. Except for premium rates of overtime pay, all other provisions connected with overtime laid down in the relevant collective agreement still apply. This was the decision made in September 2004 by an arbitrator (a Supreme Court judge) at an industrial arbitration tribunal in a dispute over the interpretation of a much debated rule set out in private sector collective agreements. The decision ends a dispute concerning the interpretation of this 'missed time' rule between the Central Organisation of Industrial Employees in Denmark (Centralorganisationen af industriansatte, CO-industri) and the Confederation of Danish Industries (Dansk Industri, DI). This dispute broke out in summer 2004, only a few months after the relevant rule was agreed.