New LSS rules halt popular cruises: ‘Incredibly upset’

New LSS rules halt popular cruises Incredibly upset

Updated 06:30 | Published at 06:28

The annual Finland cruise is the highlight for many residents at LSS.

But this could be the last – as new EU rules prohibit their assistants from coming along.

– I get so incredibly upset, says TV profile Rickard Olsson, who is a conference host on the trip.

The terminal in Värtahamnen is slowly starting to fill up with expectant travelers. For over 20 years, the “Häng me’ på Party” cruise between Stockholm and Helsinki for people with disabilities has been arranged within LSS.

But this year’s trip could be the last.

– My mother started this over 20 years ago. It would be really sad not to be allowed to continue with this because of a decision that no one seems to think is good, says organizer Mattias Olsberg.

On 1 October, new EU rules for 24-hour rest will apply to employees in the country’s regions and municipalities.

This means that the employees have the right to 11 hours of continuous rest every day, and that each work shift must be followed by a day’s rest. The new law will therefore mean that several popular activities for participants within LSS are at risk of being scrapped.

– It is very sad, the LSS law says that they should be allowed to live a full life. This means that we will never be able to go on trips or overnight stays. Their lives will be limited and it feels so terribly sad, says Ulrika Gellermark, who works as a support assistant at an LSS residence.

Leisure coordinator Anneli Karlsson, 52, has traveled from Umeå and is on site in Värtahamnen. She also expresses great concern about the law.

– The sad thing is that people with disabilities will have problems getting out and having a good free time. Trips like this are an excellent opportunity to meet and build networks. They talk about this trip all year, so I feel worried about the future if we will be able to make trips like this, she says.

The atmosphere is top notch

The buses continue to roll into the terminal and the atmosphere is at its peak among the more than 500 party-hungry cruise guests who arrive from everything between southern Skåne and Haparanda.

Emil Wallenberg, 29, and Sara Swati, 29, have traveled by train from Malmö and this year’s trip will be their first.

– It will be great fun! There will be karaoke and then Rickard Olsson from Bingolotto will come, says Sara.

Also for the TV profile, this will be the first “Häng me’ på Party” trip where, in addition to arranging bingo, he will act as a conference host during the cruise. He is very critical of the new law.

– I get so incredibly upset about how stupid it can be. This affects people who have nothing to do with this. They won’t be able to go on holiday or a weekend trip and that’s what LSS is meant for, that those who have difficulties should be able to live as normally as possible and that’s how you take it away from them.

full screen Rickard Olsson’s message: “Resign everyone”. Photo: Erik Simander/TT

He is also very critical of the municipal union, which he believes agreed to the law far too lightly.

– They agree to this without thinking about third parties. It’s just shitty. Resign everyone, says Olsson.

The trip lasts three days and the founder Carina Olsberg, who is still involved in a corner, describes that the atmosphere is at its best.

– From the moment they arrive here until the moment you leave here, they love it, and so do we. It’s the funnest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life, she says.

FACTS Stricter rules on 24-hour rest

New EU directives state that you must have eleven hours of rest per day. In Sweden, there have been exceptions written into several collective agreements, but now the EU demands that you start following the rules. Kommunal och Sveriges Kommuner och Regioner, SKR, has therefore negotiated the collective agreement in order to meet the requirement from the EU. Continued exceptions may be made, but according to SKR, the possibility to do so will be very restrictive and can only be relevant in businesses that are tasked with protecting life and health. In Sweden, the country’s firefighters have so far received this dispensation, but only one year at a time.

On October 1, the stricter rules apply to everyone.

Source: SKR

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