About SAMEYKI - Union of Public Servants
SAMEYKI, a nationwide union of public servants, operates in two divisions, public and general.
The public sector extends to employees in public service who are not members of other unions. It also covers members of unions which do not have their own bargaining rights but are affiliated to Sameyki, along with individuals employed by non-profit organizations working for the public good in accordance to law. This basically means employees of the State and the City of Reykjavik, though it also includes employers of the municipality and public companies that have been privatized but are still working for the public good.
The general sector covers individuals employed by companies working for the public good that were previously state institutions or non-profit organizations.
Sameyki was established 26 January 2019 and was formed from two unions in the public sector, Starfsmannafélag Reykjavíkurborgar, Reykjavik's municipal employees’ association, and SFR stéttarfélag í almannaþjónustu, SFR – Union of Public Servants. Both of these have been strong pillars in the public sector since they were established at the beginning of the 20th century.
Sameyki has around 11,000 members, the majority of which live in the Reykjavík Metropolitan Area, and most of our members (68%) are women. Our members have diverse education backgrounds and are found in many professions. Under Sameyki's constitution, all employees who work in areas covered by general wage agreements made by Sameyki automatically become members and are obliged to pay membership fees. While a member may resign from Sameyki, he/she is obliged to pay fees to the union under the General Wage Agreements of Public Servants Act.
The Chair of Sameyki is Árni Stefán Jónsson and Garðar Hilmarsson is Vice-chair. Fourteen employees work in the Sameyki office.
Sameyki’s role and services
From the start, the main objective of the union have been to improve conditions and job security for our members. The main emphasis is to provide information on collective wage agreements that Sameyki has with employers. Sameyki negotiates wage agreements with 18 (Government, Reykjavik city, Icelandic Association of Local Authorities and ex.) At the same time, the struggle for various rights has been fought under the auspices of our umbrella organization, BSRB – the Federation of State and Municipal Employees. Members can obtain legal help and consultation through Sameyki.
Your rights and benefits as a member:
Wages and rights
You are entitled to all the terms of the collective wage agreement, which are agreements made between the union and employer. The agreements cover rules about work hours, sick leave, overtime, vacation, shift work and more, as well as wages and pay scales.
Contact us for further information or if you think your wage agreement is not being followed.
Repayment and grants for education and training
Computer and language courses (Icelandic), life skills courses, collage fees and more.
Apply on Mínar síður (the website is in Icelandic – contact us for assistance).
Repayment and grants from sickness benefit funds,
Styrktarsjóður BSRB and Styrktarsjóður Sameyki
(The BSRB support fund and the Sameyki support fund).
The funds pay sickness benefits to members who have fulfilled the minimum requirements regarding union fees and are unable to work due to illness or accident but have used up the sick leave provided by the workplace. This fund also pays its members some of the costs related to various health programmes, cancer screening, etc.
Get help with paying your dentist bills, buying eye glasses, going to a physiotherapist or psychologist, your regular cancer screening, or just going to the gym.
For serious illness and longer sick leave, you can get a special allowance from your union. Further information on My Pages (the website is in Icelandic – contact us for assistance)
We own more then 70 vacation houses all over Iceland and apartments in Akureyri and Reykjavik that our members can rent at low cost during their holidays. Sameyki also owns a house and two apartments in Spain, close to Alicante.
All members can apply for a vacation house during summer and over Easter or book a house on our vacation web (the website is in Icelandic – contact us for assistance)
The Sameyki office is at Grettisgata 89, 105 Reykjavík, 4th floor, telephone +354 5258330.
We are open from 9:00-16:00 weekdays and always willing to assist you in every way we can. Don’t hesitate to contact us by email or phone. You are also welcome to visit us.
BSRB – The Federation of State and Municipal Employees
Sameyki is a member of BSRB, the Federation of State and Municipal Employees. BSRB is the biggest union of employees in public service in Iceland. Its members work in telecommunication, postal services, customs, the police, fire stations, health care and the education of pre-school children, to name but a few.
BSRB is a federation of 23 unions whose members are employed by local government as well as the State.
Since BSRB was founded in 1942, the membership has increased steadily and now has approximately 22,000 members, of which two thirds are women. Iceland’s total workforce is close to 150,000.
The unions in BSRB have collective bargaining rights. Usually the unions bargain individually for wage agreements, but for other rights, such as pensions, they often work together under the auspices of BSRB. Members of unions affiliated to BSRB have had the right to strike since 1986, although they are subjected to more restrictions than workers in the private sector.