Denmark - Former government orchestrated lock-out - September 30, 2017

A 2013 teacher lockout that kept over 550,000 public school students out of class for 4 weeks was orchestrated by the government, according to a former minister in a new book. The minister writes that the government of then PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt made an agreement with Local Government Denmark (Kommunernes Landsforening), the interest group that represents the 98 municipalities, to bar the nation’s teachers from doing their jobs. The teachers’ union refused in 2013 to sign a collective bargaining agreement that gave school leaders, rather than the teachers themselves, more responsibility for deciding teachers’ work schedules. When the two sides were unable to reach an agreement, publicly-employed teachers and after-school instructors were locked out nationwide. The conflict lasted a month before the government stepped in and passed a bill that forced the teachers to accept the new working conditions.

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For more information, please contact the editor Jan Cremers, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS) or the communications officer at the ETUI, Willy De Backer For previous issues of the Collective bargaining newsletter please visit Since June 2013 readers can consult our archive and search through all articles in our database at www.cbnarchive.euYou may find further information on the ETUI at, and on the AIAS at

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