Swedish union targets gender pay gap

A new three-year agreement for workers in Sweden’s welfare sector includes higher pay increases for skilled nurses.

Concluded in April by the municipal workers' union, Kommunal, the deal is not only a success for the union's equal pay strategy but also brings real pay increases for all. In 2016 the basic pay increase will be SEK 520 (€56) while nurses will get SEK 1020 (€110).

“This is a historic victory for more equal pay. The nurses will now have a hefty extra wage increase. This is an important step towards a more equal labour market and it affects all members’ wage rate positively,” said Municipal Agreements Secretary Lenita Granlund.

The deal also provides for key partners to draw up local action plans, by 2017, to increase the proportion of full-time employees, with full-time contracts the norm for new staff. The plans will be monitored annually. It will help to boost recruitment in the coming years and guarantee high-quality welfare services. Women must receive salaries and pensions that they can live on, insisted Lenita Granlund.

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