In an act of protest, twelve Icelandic midwives who had quit their jobs at The National University Hospital of Iceland left their working shoes on the steps of Icelandic Government offices Sunday. Midwives have been negotiating with Icelandic authorities for better wages in the past weeks. One of them is quoted saying that the government is responsible for the twelve of them quitting their jobs at the hospital, which will have serious consequences for the hospital’s operations.
Midwives all over the country will refuse to work overtime starting mid-July. Ninety percent of midwives who cast a vote on the matter agreed to go on a strike that would ban union members from working overtime. Head midwife at the The National University Hospital says she simply can not picture the state of things after midwives stop working overtime, as she is quoted saying in an interview with RÚV.
Midwife representatives met with prime minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir last month to discuss the state of negotiations. After voting on the wage agreement proposed early last month, two thirds of midwives refused to accept, leading to tough negotiations and protests these last weeks. Midwifves had then been without an operative government contract for nine months.