Vi er også Danskere...

Yes, it true that not all Danes have blond hair and blue eyes.

Love your Eurovision...

Okay, this post comes a bit late but who cares (as I mentioned recently, too much sun these days to be posting very regularly). So the annual Eurovision Song Contest (or 'Melodi Grand Pris' in Danish) has come and gone. No 'Fly on the Wings of Love' this year for Denmark, the song that won it a few years back for this country.

But I did really enjoy the French entry this year, which a friend pointed me to (it also didn't win). This is actually a very non-Eurovision song, by a very cool non-Eurovision artist, who made a great non-Eurovision style video for the song.

Sebestien Tellier's Divine - enjoy! (I still am...)

The last Distortion Festival post for 2008...

The scene at Enghave Plads in Vesterbro last night as the Distortion Festival roared on. Blue skies and warm music. Priceless.

The Copenhagen Distortion Festival 2008 in Norrebro...a few pics

Like there was a choice whether to join or not. When your flat lies just around the corner from the heart of the action, as does the flat of yours truly, you may as well embace the action and join in. So last night the Distortion Festival was as loud and rowdy and amusing as was to be expected.

From the 'Obama' Party bus to Christiania Cycle (with build in sound system) that kept the music playing even after it had 'officially' stopped, to the guys with a draft beer tap set up in their ground floor apartment serving beer directly through their window onto the street (now that's entrepreneurial spirit - especially given the outrageous queues at the local kiosks selling beer!) it was an entertaining evening.

As the Distortion Festival proves, when the sun shines so does Copenhagen...and when the sun sets, the fun really begins (even on a Thursday night). Thank goodness for the weekend...and the Distortion Festival in Vesterbro.

ahhhhh, Sankt Hans Torv...

the unoffical Obama '08 party bus...

yep, serving draft beer tap straight from a tap set up in their
well-located apartment
- a nice way to help pay the rent...

as dusk settled in...

the main soundsystem once the clock passed midnight...

The Copenhagen Distortion Festival Hits Norrebro...

On Thursday, the annual Copenhagen Distortion Festival hits Nørrebro. Last year it was a great evening, with the police even cooperating and closing down some streets to traffic until extremely late in the evening (as the music played on...). Tomorrow threatens to be even better - the weather looks to be just perfect, and the Festival gets more and more word of mouth and media attention every year. And it's good. Always. If you're into this sort of thing, at least occasionally.

On Friday the festival hits Vesterbro, and then on Saturday is the Final party. But there's something about a mid-week party that can be a welcome relief, even if only once in a while. And the area around Sankt Hans Torv is just the right size to have an intimately massive little happening.

Hopefully more to report shortly.

Somebody PLEASE teach these nurses some math!! (or at least give them a calculator)

23,000 kroner x 0,0075% pay increase this year x 60,0% after tax
= 100 kroner per month (approximately)


23,000 kroner/160 hours x 0.0075% pay increase this year x 60,0% after tax
= 0.675 kr/hour (approximately)

Yes, a little bit of math to start this blog entry - please forgive my occasionally rational thought process. The outcome of these little calculations is essentially the reason why nurses in Copenhagen went on strike, and remain on strike several futile weeks later.

It's all about 100 kroner per month in salary (after tax) or .675 kroner an hour.

To put this another way: if you were offered 149.33 kroner per hour for a job, but demanded 150 kroner, would you turn the job down!!???

I'm not trying to be clever here, just a bit sensible!

Of course, the nurses union possesses, how shall we phrase this delicately, a questionable level of competence. This opinion, admittedly, stems from the fact that the author's girlfriend was once a nurse, though she gave up that profession some years back in frustration and has never looked back since (a decision which the author fully supported) thanks to chronic understaffing, questionable pay, and barely capable management. Thankfully, she was never a member of the union.

The same nurses union that nonetheless did manage to recently build themselves a rather swanky new headquarters right in the heart of Copenhagen on the waterfront.

Some background on the strike, which continues with no sign of a breakthrough in sight: the nurses union in Copenhagen came up with the idea that nurses should receive a 15% pay increase over the next 3 years. Now, to be clear, I am FULLY in support of this. In fact, I would suggest they should have demanded more.

Here's why:

Most importantly, I genuinely believe they deserve such a raise, which leads to the second issue, which is that the union's demand for 15% and negotiating tactics surrounding this demand were doomed from the start. If they had demanded 20% or 25% then there would have been something more meaningful to negotiate over.

You see, the Copenhagen Kommune had already offered the nurses a 12.8% raise over 3 years. That meant the 2 sides were a mere 2.2% OVER THREE YEARS (meaning a mere .75% per year) apart - or 100 knoner a month each year, or 300 knoner a month after 3 years. Please refer back to the math at the beginning of this post to understand the math behind this calculation.

The Copenhagen Kommune has chosen to be tough, and its the nurses who are getting screwed. They are the ones losing pay - because there is no way their strike pay (which is soon running out) is covering anywhere close to their full salary. And it will take them years to make up this lost salary even if their union succeeds with their demands.

Sadly, the nurses at this point have little to gain whatever the outcome, since there is barely anything on the table to win. Let's hope they come to their senses soon. And this is without even mentioning the affect all of this nonsensical posturing has had on the patients.

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