• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Unions shift stance on welfare sector profits

TT/The Local/dl · 20 Jan 2014, 07:36

Published: 20 Jan 2014 07:36 GMT+01:00

For the last two years, the Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO) has called for regulations to drastically reduce the profits companies that run the country's hospitals, schools, and care homes are allowed to earn.

But on Monday, LO's vice chair Tobias Baudin signaled that, rather than regulation, it preferred to see an agreement on welfare sector profits forged via negotiations between workers and employers in the sector.

"We'd like to find a Swedish model for creating a sense of order in the welfare sector, where (labour market) partners can work together," Baudin told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper, referring to Sweden's consensus model of labour relations that has kept the country more or less free from violent labour disputes for decades.

"We've shifted the debate in Swedish politics about welfare and profits. But in reality nothing has happened. I'm concerned over the risk that we end up with a patchwork of different political proposals. We're at risk for getting a number of populist proposals that don't change anything."

A better approach, Baudin argued, involves a dialogue between unions and employer groups in the welfare sector that could lead to an agreed set of rules on what sort of profits are reasonable.

LO is in favour of companies in the welfare sector turning a profit, but would like to see most of money reinvested in the form of higher salaries and professional development for workers in the welfare sector.

"It shouldn't be possible to pay dividends if quality isn't high enough. If you don't have enough money to maintain high standards for a school or a care home, you shouldn't be able to take out profits," Baudin told the TT news agency.

Part of LO's proposal includes taking quality measures such as staffing and education levels into account.

Story continues below…

"Then I think it's important to find specific quality standards in different sectors," Baudin said, adding that he hopes LO's change of heart will lead to real progress on the issue.

"I think the chaos in the welfare sector today is harmful. Not least because it hurts the legitimacy of Sweden's welfare state and affects people's willingness to pay taxes," he said.

"One should always feel that 'my money goes to schools and healthcare where it's cared for in a way that increases quality for me as a user of welfare'."
 

TT/The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Foreigners in Sweden still more likely to be unemployed
A grim outlook is predicted for foreigners in Sweden. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Unemployment is falling among native Swedes, but foreign-born citizens are struggling to keep pace.

'Help! My name is Jihad'
Jihad Eshmawi. Photo: Private

My name doesn’t make life easy for me, Jihad Eshmawi tells us.

Why fewer Swedes are using condoms in 2016
Photo: Robert Henriksson / SvD / TT

Younger Swedes are better at protecting themselves than their older compatriots.

Swedish economic growth 'best in Nordics'
A new report says Sweden has the best growth prospects of the Nordics. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden's economy is out-pacing its Nordic rivals, but high levels of household debt are still a problem.

IN PICTURES: 8 of Sweden’s wondrous national parks
Vadvetjåkka is Sweden's northernmost national park. Photo: Peter Rosén/Rosénmedia

It’s National Parks Day in Sweden. Who knew? A perfect opportunity surely to take a closer look at some of the country’s most amazing natural wonders…

Why Swedish football is introducing a green card
Swedish referees could soon be reaching for a green card. Photo: Andreas Hillergren/TT

You’ve heard of the red and yellow cards, but how about the green card?

Sweden won't charge foreign minister over 'queue jump'
Sweden's foreign minister, Margot Wallström. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's foreign minister Margot Wallström will not be charged over claims she was given special treatment to secure an apartment in Stockholm.

Swedes don’t want to join the euro - now or ever
Euros? Nej tack! Photo: Jens Meyer/AP

We'll keep our krona, thank you very much.

Opinion
'Bigotry is not dead in Sweden – we still need to talk'
Stockholm Pride 2015. Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Sweden still needs to do more to confront intolerance, argues columnist Paul Connolly.

Spotify gains listeners but it's still bleeding cash
Spotify's offices in Stockholm. Photo: Lars Pehrson/SvD/TT

The Swedish streaming giant expanded rapidly last year but hasn't yet turned a profit.

Sponsored Article
How to find student housing in Malmö: 5 tips
Fastighetsbyrån
Gallery
Property of the week: Vika, Falun
Sponsored Article
'Sweden gives artists the space to follow their dreams'
National
Is this the most Swedish tattoo ever?
Gallery
People-watching: May 20th-22nd
Blog updates

20 May

Editor’s blog, May 20th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Do not mention Abba! Or cuckoo clocks! Our most read article this week was…" READ »

 

17 May

What about “att”? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! It often seems like the small words are the ones that cause the most confusion.…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
Food, fun, and reliable sun: Summer in Dubrovnik
National
How to really annoy a Swede abroad
Sponsored Article
How Stockholm startups help new employees feel at home
National
How this war veteran is warming hearts in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: May 18th
National
How this Swede's viral ad totally nailed Stockholm's housing crisis
Sponsored Article
Can you afford to live in Stockholm? (Hint: yes)
Gallery
Property of the week: Vasastaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Lifestyle
The best Swedish cities for dating
Gallery
People-watching: May 13th-15th
Sponsored Article
'Only soft power can defeat radicalism'
Culture
BLOG: Eurovision as it happened
Sponsored Article
Why Stockholm attracts so many successful researchers
National
Why a 116-year-old Swede isn't the world's oldest woman
National
Youth unemployment falls in Sweden
Sponsored Article
'Sweden gives artists the space to follow their dreams'
Gallery
People-watching: May 11th
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Gallery
People-watching: May 6th-8th
Sponsored Article
Can you afford to live in Stockholm? (Hint: yes)
Politics
Why Sweden's Greens are in free fall
Sponsored Article
Stockholm makes it easier for refugees to meet startups
National
Can these cartoon Swedes help foreigners blend in?
National
Why this fearless woman is the talk of Sweden
National
Sweden set for sunny weekend
Fastighetsbyrån
Gallery
Property of the week: Vollsjö, Sjöbo
Features
How to be a cool Swede during a hot summer
Gallery
People-watching: April 29th - May 1st
Analysis & Opinion
Why Sweden's fretting about Brexit
3,299
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se