Nurses join action in municipal and health sectors as pay offer rejected

Finland

Around 25,000 members of the TEHY and SuPer nurses’ unions were due to start strike action on 1 April following rejection of a pay offer delivered by mediation. The action is initially targeted at six hospital districts and workers not on strike will join a ban on overtime and shift changes. Further strike action may follow later in April if a better offer is not on the table. The two unions join local government unions, JHL and Jyty, which have already taken two-day strike action in two different municipalities with further action planned in another six – two from 6 April and four from 19 April. The unions are angry that the offer was well below trade union demands for a general rise that would provide protection against rising inflation and action on low pay. The proposal was for a two-year agreement with a first-year general wage increase of only 1% and a further 1% at local level. The second year would have delivered slightly less with a general increase of 1% and again a locally distributed tranche of less than 1%. Unions are calling for a decent pay rise along with action on low pay and particularly in the health sector for measures to address staff shortages, the undervaluing of care work and in recognition of the sacrifices made during the pandemic.

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