Conciliatory law applies to GPs
The Permanent Arbitration Court last night ruled that general practitioners are covered by the law pertaining to the Conciliatory Board.
This means that the finance ministry’s contention that the law on conciliation does apply to GPs. The GPs argued that since they are self-employed they are not covered by this law.
The Conciliatory Board will now resume its efforts to reach a settlement between the General Practitioners’ Association and the Ministry of Finance, who have been locked in contract talks since the GPs Association terminated its contract in February.
Conciliator Terje Sigurðson said: “This is an entirely new agreement area for us, so it is taking longer than usual to gain a complete understanding of it.”
The Conciliatory Board has decided to withdraw its strike extension, which means that the strike deadline has not officially been extended. However, according to yesterday’s court ruling, the Conciliatory Board is authorised to extend the GP strike by seven days.
The Permanent Arbitration Court’s decision stated:
“All things considered, the Permanent Arbitration Court regards this matter as a collective conflict of interest in the Faroese labour market. Pursuant to the law on conciliation, the Conciliatory Board therefore has the authority to conduct and initiate conciliatory proceedings between the General Practitioners’ Association and the Ministry of Finance regarding the General Practitioners’ Association’s announcement of a GP strike.”
It remains unclear whether the announced strike is still valid or whether the GPs’ Association is required to make a new announcement.
The most urgent matter right now is to resume negotiations between the opposing parties, said Sigurðsson, who believes that the talks are likely to resume today.
Translated by prosa.fo.