Wearing more than one hat? State intervention during the teacher lockout in 2013

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This article investigates the use of collective industrial conflict in the public sector by analysing the Danish teacher lockout in 2013. The social partners in the public sector in Denmark (and the other Scandinavian countries) engage in negotiations and reach agreements regarding wages and working conditions in accordance with a private model. This also applies to the use of the so-called weapons of conflict – strikes/blockades and lockouts/boycotts – in connection with labour disputes if the involved parties are unable to reach agreement through negotiations or mediation. But there is a big difference in the premises and conditions upon which collective industrial conflict proceeds when comparing the public and private sectors in Denmark. This article presents a critical analysis of the use of collective industrial conflicts in the Danish public sector in light of collective bargaining round and the teacher lockout in 2013. The article shows how the use of collective industrial conflicts in the public sector has a number of built-in systemic flaws, as the public employers are at one and the same time the budgetary authority and legislators. This is not a new finding, however, these multiple roles becomes problematic when public employers use the lockout weapon offensively in a combination with a state intervention to end the dispute as the case was during the teacher lockout in 2013. The article concludes with the presentation of a number of proposed adjustments for bringing the public bargaining model in balance such that open conflict is minimised.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date7 Apr 2016
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2016
EventInternational Labour Proces Conference - Berlin, Germany
Duration: 4 Apr 20167 Apr 2016


ConferenceInternational Labour Proces Conference

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