Swedish translators have entered into an agreement with the Bonnier Publishing Group almost a year to the day after the former Standard Contract between the Publishers’ Association and the Translators’ Section of the Swedish Writers’ Union was terminated.
Negotiations have been ongoing on different levels more or less constantly during the year between the Union (http://www NULL.forfattarforbundet NULL.se/) and Bonniers’. They included a Draft Contract from Bonniers’ that led the Translators to recommend all their members to refuse commissions from Bonniers’, the country’s largest publishing house. The boycott was effective several months from late last year. It was not lifted until the Bonnier delegation abandoned some of their suggested clauses, including the right to the Last Word in translations, remuneration with a lump sum and a more or less indefinite contract term for all rights to the translation. Many renowned translators refused commissions under such conditions.
The new contract, that will apply to all new translation commissions from the Bonnier Group, will be valid for a year, after which the parties will evaluate it. It stipulates minimum levels for remuneration and different tariffs for adult books and for children’s books. There will be no ‘lump sum’ remunerations, but additional remuneration for new formats, and the contract term will be tied to the time the Swedish publisher has a right to publish the book in Swedish.
Even though this is not a collective agreement for the book market as a whole, the contract with Sweden’s largest publishing house will be an important landmark for the market when considering contracts to replace the old Standard Agreement.