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After collective bargaining breakthrough: It is now up to the employers, says Kent Petersen

The settlement in the industrial sector is “very reasonable” and could form the basis for new negotiations in the financial sector if the employers are prepared to change their stance. So says the president of Finansforbundet.

21. Feb 2023
3 min
English / Dansk
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Foto: Claus Bech

The collective bargaining in the industrial area that closed successfully this Sunday afternoon may help put the collapsed negotiations in the financial sector back on track.

This is the assessment of Kent Petersen, President of Finansforbundet.

“This is a very reasonable result. In many ways, it supports our assessment of both the private labour market and the economy underlying the wage development needed in the next couple of years,” he says, describing the settlement in the industrial sector as “fine craftsmanship” and “something to be inspired by”.

But if Finansforbundet is to return to the negotiating table, the employers must be prepared to change their stance, emphasises Kent Petersen.

“Of course, if I can feel movement and understanding of how to read the results, and we can reach a common ground in terms of where we are heading, then there is a good basis for resuming negotiations. If the employers show no signs of seeing things differently, then there is no reason for us to return to the negotiating table,” he says.

Aiming for a noticeable pay rise

The negotiations in the financial sector collapsed two weeks ago, and the official conciliator has convened Kent Petersen and the Danish Employers' Association for the Financial Sector (FA) for a briefing on Wednesday afternoon.

Here, he and the rest of the team at Finansforbundet will evaluate what the employers are bringing to the table in the wake of Sunday’s industrial result.

The settlement reached in the industrial sector includes, among other things, a pay rise of at least 4 per cent distributed between an increased employer-funded pension contribution from 8 to 10 per cent and an increase in the contribution to the free-choice account. It has also been agreed to reinforce the union representatives in the local pay negotiations and to raise the hourly minimum pay by DKK 9 over two years.

Settlement sets the framework for collective bargaining in the rest of the labour market
However, Kent Petersen emphasises that since two different systems are involved, the settlement in the industrial sector is not directly transferable.

As a result, he gives no clear answers when it comes to expected pay increases for employees in the financial sector.

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