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Questions and answers regarding the agreements negotiations 2020

We have compiled the most frequently asked questions about the autumn 2020 agreement negotiations here.

In Swedish: Vanliga frågor och svar om avtalsförhandlingarna 2020

Which collective agreement applies to me?

If you are unsure which agreement applies to you, you can ask your employer or phone Kommunal Direkt on 010-442 70 00. You can also log in to Mina sidor (My Pages) using your BankID for more information about your collective agreement.

I have a question about my agreement, where can I get an answer to it?

You can see the status of your agreement on the page “Så går det för ditt avtal” (“See how your agreement is going”). First select the correct agreement, for example “Trafik” (“Traffic”). If the agreement is complete, you will find a link to the news on the page for that agreement area. 

Separate FAQ about the agreement with SKR and Sobona

When will I get my pay rise?

Due to postponed agreement negotiations, the central collective agreements will expire between 31 October and 31 December 2020.  Pay rises will take place once the central collective agreements have been signed. Some central collective agreements then regulate a local process before a pay rise takes place. 

I’ve now received my payslip for the one-off payment – why is my payment of that amount as it is?

The one-off payment is based on how you worked during a certain period of 2020. Different periods may apply, depending on which collective agreement you belong to, and the amount is calculated based on how much you worked during that period. The amount is affected by part-time work, absence and change of employer. The one-off payment is taxed as income from service. It is not possible to provide a general answer about exactly how much each individual should expect this amount to be. The one-off payment includes holiday pay and holiday compensation, and the amount is pensionable.

This applies to those who are monthly paid employees in a region or municipality and municipal association that is part of Kommunal’s collective agreement area
If you do not know which agreement area you belong to, you can find details of it when you log in to Mina sidor (My Pages).

Also bear in mind that not all agreements contain a one-off payment, as all agreements have different conditions and negotiations. 

Contact your section if you have any questions about your situation.

You can also contact the payroll office where you work for more information about the payment.

My agreement is now complete, but the pay rises will still have to wait until 2021. Why am I not getting a pay rise this year? 

All collective agreements that should have been negotiated in the spring were extended because of the extremely uncertain situation created by the pandemic. Now that the agreements are expiring and have been re-negotiated, we have as usual had the “mark” to relate to (i.e. the industry agreement that defines the standard for all agreements in the Swedish labour market). But in addition to the “mark”, we have also needed to make sure that no agreement should benefit from or be disadvantaged by being extended for different lengths of time. This is linked to how long the agreement was extended, so some agreements underwent the salary review earlier and others later, simply to smooth out the different extension periods. 

The ideal situation would of course have been if we had been able to negotiate as planned in the spring, but this was not possible in the prevailing circumstances. 

Yet those working in regions and municipalities received pay rises as early as November, as well as a one-off payment as compensation. Why is there a difference between the different agreements? 

Each collective agreement is unique and has its advantages and disadvantages. Kommunal organises both municipal and regional employees as well as private sector employees.

Our biggest collective agreement of all is with the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SKR) and Sobona’s biggest agreement, and this time those employers chose to meet us on many of our demands. They were intense, tough negotiations, but SKR is after all a politically governed organisation and not a profit-generating, privately owned company like many of the employers in the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise.

We would have liked more employers to be able to do the same as SKR, but unfortunately they have not chosen to reward their employees. There is, however, nothing to prevent individual employers from giving their employees a one-off payment, even though it is not regulated in the agreement.  

Will we be receiving retrospective pay because we should have received the pay rise earlier?  

Kommunal will push very hard for this. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees – all we know is that negotiations will be very tough. 
Down the years, Kommunal has had different structures in the central collective agreements about when and how the pay rises are to be paid out. We do not yet know which model it will be this time. 

But – no one can deny that the skilled members of Kommunal should be compensated for the extremely important work that everyone is doing and has done.

We’ve been working really hard during the pandemic. So surely we must now get a substantial pay rise? 

The pandemic has shown society very clearly what an incredibly important role the members of Kommunal have to play. Expectations of the members are sky-high and no one can deny any longer that the union’s skilled members must receive more.

Politicians, the media and lobbyists have been touchingly in agreement that terms and conditions must be improved for everyone working in the welfare sector. Kommunal will be doing its utmost to make sure that politicians and employers also deliver.

That said, we all know that negotiations will be very tough this time. Kommunal and the employers were far apart even before Corona struck. The pandemic has hit the economy and resulted in businesses suffering, and many employees have lost their jobs. This means reduced tax revenues. At the same time, considerable government resources have been invested in compensating companies for loss of income. Warnings are now emerging that there are insufficient resources to increase wages.
Kommunal is working hard to make sure that its members’ voices are heard and that there is investment in welfare jobs. This change will require time and effort. As a member, you help to give Kommunal its muscle power. 

I’m on a zero-hour contract, will I not get a pay rise?

An employer may not differentiate between permanent employees and those in fixed-term employment. There is legislation that protects employees in such situations. 

Why did Kommunal not start negotiations immediately after the summer? 

Negotiations did start, but they have reached different stages, depending on which central collective agreement is involved! 

When will I know that the negotiations have started on my agreement? 

Kommunal is negotiating over 70 central collective agreements in 2020. The collective agreements expire at different times, which means that the union is at different stages in the negotiations. All collective agreements must be completed by the end of the year.  

If you keep your contact information and workplace updated on Mina sidor (My Pages), you will receive the latest information about your collective agreement directly in your mail inbox. You can also phone Kommunal Direkt if you have any general questions about your collective agreement, 010 442 70 00.

See how your agreement is going

What is this “mark” that people are talking about?

Pay rises in the collective agreement concluded by parties in the industrial sector will set the level, i.e. become a mark for wages in other central collective agreements.

What determines the pay rises in collective agreements?

What is the mark for 2020?

There is no mark for 2020 as yet because the parties that sign the industrial agreement have not finished. 

Why were the agreement negotiations halted last spring? 

Because the members of Kommunal are taking their responsibility for the difficult ongoing coronavirus situation, we were not in a position to hold sharp, aggressive agreement negotiations. 

Why did salaried officials get pay rises? Couldn’t we also have “tillsvidareavtal” (permanent employment contracts)? 

Not all salaried officials have received pay rises. A permanent employment contract does not regulate levels of pay rises, these are determined locally. A permanent employment contract could mean that the union’s members risk receiving lower pay rises if, for example, employers choose to allocate most of the local pay rises to salaried officials. 

Kommunal’s members have always chosen to have pay rises regulated in the central collective agreements that the union signs. 

What is a negotiating committee?

The negotiating committee consists of members affected by the current collective agreement, and it has the task of assisting the national executive committee in drawing up a new collective agreement.

Who makes the decision to sign a new collective agreement?

The formal decision on a new central collective agreement is made by the national executive committee. following a recommendation by the current negotiating committee. 

What happens after a central collective agreement has been signed?

The changes made in the central collective agreement apply. Some collective agreements regulate local negotiations before pay rises can take place.

What is the LO (Swedish Trade Union Federation) coordination?

The purpose of the LO coordination is for LO unions jointly pursue several strict contractual demands against the employers. An LO union that encounters problems in the agreement negotiations can receive support from other LO unions.

Why is Kommunal not part of the LO coordination? 

Kommunal decided to stay out of the LO coordination in this year's collective agreement negotiations because Kommunal wanted to be able to demand more for key professional groups. There was no support for vocational training having to pay for itself also in the welfare sector, which is why Kommunal chose to run its own agreement negotiations. 

Will there be a strike if we do not manage to push through our demands?

As long as the central collective agreement is in force, the parties may not go into conflict. If the collective agreement has expired and the employer and Kommunal have not settled on a new collective agreement, the last resort could be to give notice of conflict. The purpose of this is to apply pressure on the other party. The aim is to always reach an agreement, but if this is not possible, Kommunal can choose to give notice of a strike or an overtime ban. 

Why does Kommunal need so many members? Even if you’re not a member, you still get a pay rise.

Many members means power for Kommunal in agreement negotiations. If many of the employees are not members, they have not given the union a mandate to negotiate their pay and terms of employment, which may result in the other party declining to sign a new central collective agreement. Without a central collective agreement, employers are under no obligation to increase wages or pay compensation for, among other things, overtime or unsocial working hours. 

What does “prolongerat” mean?

That the current central collective agreement has been extended. The terms and conditions of the collective agreement continue to apply, which means, for example, that you continue to receive supplementary payments for unsocial working hours, on-call duty and overtime.