The collective bargaining process

Learn more about the process behind the unique swedish model with collective agreements for every sector which include many valuable workplace benefits that you perhaps take for granted: annual wage increases, overtime payments, extra payments in connection with parental leave and illness, occupational pensions and insurance schemes.

The collective bargaining process – re-negotiating salaries and working conditions

Unionens´ collective agreements with the employer organisations that are in place in the private sector are valid for one or a couple of years at the time. Then it´s time for re-negotiating the conditions with the employer organisations. This is called The collective bargaining process (" Avtalsrörelse " in swedish). The aim of the process and the negotiations is to safeguard your interests, preserve and improve your terms and conditions and ensure salary development for all members.    

Salary – an important part of the collective bargaining process

The first thing that happens in such a process is that Unionen members give their opinions in various ways and say what they consider the most important things to pursue and prioritise in the negotiations. One of the most important demands concerns what collective salary increase level Unionen should demand.

Märket – ”The Mark” - the collective salary increase level

It is important that our efforts ensure more money finds its way into people’s wallets through real salary development while taking into account the ability of companies and workplaces to compete, and in this work we need to ensure that we neither end up too high nor too low, but at the best possible level.

It can be easy to think that the level is always too low, but a glance in the rear view mirror shows we have had a real salary increase of more than 60% since 1997, when the salary determination model we have was introduced. A key explanation for this positive result is that we end up at the right level – what is usually called Märket (the Mark). It is important that we achieve the best possible level of salary development and contribute to stable development in this area in both the short and the long term.

Why doesn’t Unionen always demand much more? Well, it’s all about achieving a reasonable level. When making financial assessments linked to the collective bargaining process and what salary increase level we should demand that both ensures real salary increases for employees and takes into account the competitiveness of the companies, there are more long-term factors than the current business cycle that we above all need to take into account. These concern productivity, inflation targets, cost development compared to other countries and international competitiveness. It’s important that we don’t go too high or too low but instead achieve the best possible level, because we want to ensure stable salary development and to continue to have competitive strength in the international sphere.

Read more about "The Mark" (Märket)

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