Swedish nurses strike looms

The Swedish Association of Health Professionals (Vårdförbundet) announced industrial action at 4.00pm on Friday afternoon affecting 3,500 members employed by both municipalities and county councils.

Nine county councils are affected around the country: Skåne, Västmanland, Halland, Östergötland, Stockholm, Västerbotten, Västra Götaland, Värmland and Uppsala.

Salary negotiations between the nurses union and their employer, the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR), stagnated earlier in the day.

“The negotiations were so difficult that both parties agreed to get help from mediators. Despite everything, we have not achieved a result which is possible for our members to accept. As things stand today, we therefore don’t see any point to continuing negotiations,” said union head Anna-Karin Eklund in a statement released at 3.30pm Friday afternoon.

The development means that the parties are back to the same place they were when they began negotiations, said Ingela Gardner Sundström, head of the negotiation delegation from SALAR.

“We are back to square one,” she said.