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Tekna’s chief negotiators work hard to ensure effective negotiations and good salary growth for our members. From left to right: Chief negotiator in Tekna State, Linn Guste-Pedersen, chief negotiator in Tekna Private Anders Kvam and chief negotiator in Tekna Municipality Sonia Monfort Roedelè

Advice and Tips

Here’s how Tekna can help you at your next salary negotiation

Published: May 3 2023

Tekna’s chief negotiators in the private, state and municipal sectors are clear on one thing: Salary levels should be negotiated locally and collectively in order to ensure effective negotiations and the highest possible salary growth.

Our members should be rewarded when times are good, and we’ll be responsible when times are tough

Tekna’s wage policy says that members must have the right to negotiate freely and that it’s best to negotiate and determine salaries through local collective bargaining.
– We think it’s important that organizations share profits when they’re doing well. Our members should be rewarded when times are good, and we’ll be responsible when times are tough, says Anders Kvam, chief negotiator in Tekna Private.

The most effective

He believes that the most effective way to negotiate salary levels is having Tekna members do so collectively within their local organization’s framework. This pot will then be split by the management based on criteria including employees’ levels of competency, educational and responsibility as well as the effort they make at work.

Anders Kvam
Anders Kvam is Tekna’s chief negotiator in the private sector

– We feel that this way of organizing negotiations, where Tekna members collectively negotiate through a local framework, is effective and good for business, which in turn is profitable for our members, says Kvam. He feels that it’s advantageous for top management to negotiate salary ranges and working conditions with company union representatives and Tekna groups instead of doing so with each individual employee.

Read: Why now is a good time to ask for a salary review
Read: Dreading your salary review? Be honest and talk about it

Company union representatives guarantee good dialogue

– Our representatives are well-trained co-workers who guarantee good dialogue and effective negotiations, and this combination helps move the organization forward in a positive direction. Decisions are based on the employees, ensuring their co-determination and a high level of agreement, he says.

Kvam believes that the individual member’s taken care of because management divides the profits among all group members.

– At the same time, we advise our members to have an annual salary review so that each member’s unique situation will be evaluated, he explains.

Take your place at the table – become a trade union member

When management’s going to sit down and discuss next year’s salary increases, reorganizations and possible lay-offs, it pays to have your union representative in this room. If you’re a Tekna member, they’ll argue your case. Read more about why it pays to join a trade union.

Local salary determination counteracts “brain drain”

If the government’s going to be able to recruit and keep highly qualified employees, it has to actively use salary levels as part of its personnel policy

In 2016 members won the right to decide salary levels locally (Akademikerne and Tekna had fought for this right for a number of years), which has in turn led to significant streamlining, simplification and modernization in the way salary levels are determined.

– The government’s been struggling for years with a high degree of staff turnover. Younger staff members use the government as a springboard to jump into the private sector and consulting firms. If the government’s going to be able to recruit and keep qualified employees, government agencies have to start actively using salary levels as part of their personnel policy, claims chief negotiator in Tekna State, Linn Guste-Pedersen.

Linn Guste-Pedersen
Tekna State’s chief negotiator Linn Guste-Pedersen

Guste-Pedersen refers to systems analysts and geologists as examples of specialists the government sector struggles to keep.

– We have a problem when the National Audit Office issues a warning because there’s a lack of IT competency in our police force. Cybercrime has to be fought with high-level competency by the police. The same thing applies to natural disasters, including avalanches. Who do we look to for expertise when an avanlache takes place in Gjerdrum? Of course, NVE (Norwegian Water Resrouces and Energy Directorate). But if we doe this, we have to make sure to keep this expertise in government agencies, and salary levels are our best tool for doing so, she states.

Negotiate locally

Guste-Pedersen says that Tekna members working for the government are now negotiating their salaries at their own workplaces through local, collective negotiations (although an economic framework for these negotiations is centrally determined).

– The fact that this framework is centrally determined means that our representatives don’t have the same possibilities as they would if working in the private and municipal sectors to influence the size of the pot. But the deal contains other factors (for instance, additional money in the pot or separate negotiations) that can influence the overall framework. The local union representatives negotiate how the pot will be split, or if there’ll be any negotiating on additional money to be distributed locally to certain groups or individuals. Usually, there are negotiations on a number of these points, she explains.

The school board and Oslo municipality: Money pits

– Tekna and Akademikerne have had collective salary determination at the municipal level since 2004. This has made the municipalities better able to use salary levels as a means of being competitive and attracting employees who are highly qualified in specialized areas, says chief negotiator in Tekna Municipality Sonia Monfort Roedelè.


Sonia Monfort Roedelé
Tekna Municipality’s chief negotiator Sonia Monfort Roedelè

Being able to determine their salaries locally has been positive for Tekna members. But there are still two groups that are lagging behind with regard to central salary determination at the municipal level; upper secondary school lecturers and municipal employees in Oslo.

– We’re still struggling to succeed at getting local salary determination for our municipal employees and lecturers in Oslo. These are bargaining areas that persist in an old-fashioned and outdated salary system. If we’re going to be able to recruit and keep competence STEM lecturers, who are in short supply, the municipalities must be able to compete more on salary levels with other sectors. If Oslo municipality is to achieve its ambition of becoming a world leader in digitalization and sustainability, salary has to be actively used as a way of keeping highly educated employees and cutting down on what’s been an unreasonably high use of consultants, she says.