Two out of three midwives, or 70% of those voting, have rejected the new contract proposed to them by the government and their union’s contract committee RÚV reports.
The agreement, which was signed on May 29, came after a contentious nine-month battle over both pay and working conditions during which the midwives have remained without a contract. The contract was intended to be valid until May 1, 2019, but now, negotiations will have to start again.
Voter turnout was high—87% of the midwives voted. Voting ended on Thursday night, after a week-long voting period. Over the course of negotiations, over twenty midwives resigned from their positions at the National and University Hospital and none of these individuals have since withdrawn their resignations. Katrín Sif Sigurgeirsdóttir, the chairwoman of the midwives contract committee, says that it is not unlikely that more will resign in the wake of this new setback. The first 19 resignations will take effect on July 1, followed by more on August 1.