Oct. 12, 2017 The JHL public services union says that it will aim for a flat-rate rather than a percentage pay rise in the upcoming bargaining round as a step towards closing the pay gap between the low and high paid. Another priority for the union is more control for workers over working time and shift work, seen as crucial to improve well-being at work. JHL will also be looking at initiatives to address the cut in holiday bonus in the public sector and action on zero-hours contracts.
Sep. 26, 2017 The JHL public sector union is preparing for the upcoming round of collective bargaining by surveying members and activists over the key elements for negotiation across the 60 agreements that it covers, most of which expire in January 2018. This time there will be not be a framework agreement negotiated with employers but the union will be in discussion with other members of the SAK confederation with a view to setting some common demands.
Aug. 31, 2017 Trade unions representing over 430,000 municipal workers have come together to call for a significant pay rise for their members. The unions argue that public sector workers were negatively affected by the competitiveness pact agreed in 2016 with cuts to holiday entitlement. The sector has also seen massive cuts, including job losses, and that a pay freeze would be totally unacceptable. The unions argue that a pay rise is necessary and would mean a major boost for the economy.
Aug. 18, 2017
A terror attack killed 13 people and injured over 100 at the Ramblas in Barcelona, 17 August 2017. Our thoughts are with the family, friends and co-workers of those killed and injured.
Aug. 15, 2017 The government is going ahead with proposals for new working time legislation despite widespread criticism from the trade unions and even doubts expressed by employer organisations. The government wants to allow more flexibility in working time, including longer night and shift work and more local agreements on working time. The unions are worried that this is all about more worker flexibility and are concerned about the lack of provisions to ensure workers are protected. The unions also point out that this is a missed opportunity to tackle the spread of precarious work.
Aug. 02, 2017 The JHL public services union and the SAK confederation have raised concerns about the government's approach to working time and possible changes to working time legislation. A government working group has come up with proposals that would allow for more local flexibility on working time while failing to put forward any concrete plans to regulate zero-hours contracts which currently affect 80000 workers in Finland. The unions argue that the proposals are more about flexibiity for employers than workers and that all workers should have a guaranteed minimum number of hours in their contracts.
Mar. 21, 2017 (March 2017) Public services union JHL is calling for an extra pay increase for sectors dominated by women. The union chair Päivi Niemi-Laine said:"We need a separate round on top of the general increase. Women-dominated sectors have been kept in check and now we have to ensure that purchasing power remains strong in women-led fields." The union argues that action needs to be taken to address the persistent gender pay gap and that public salaries are being effectively cut by a decision to reduce holiday pay as part of the competitiveness deal negotiated last year.
Jan. 27, 2017 (January 2017) Public services JHL has drawn attention to the evidence showing the benefits of improved well-being at work. The union cites research estimating that sickness absence, accidents at work and occupational diseases cost the economy cost the economy EUR 2 billion a month. Effective measures to deal with these will reduce these costs and boost productivity. The union argues that this is particularly important at a time when health and social service staff are already facing excessive workloads and now also have to deal with a major restructuring of the sector.
Dec. 19, 2016 (December 2016) Trade unions, employers and the government are in debate over the pattern of collective bargaining in the country. The EK employers' organisation is looking to sector bargaining while the government favours sector bargaining with a cap set by the pay increase negotiated in the export sector. Trade unions prefer sector bargaining in a national framework and are discussing the implications of possible new arrangements - particularly what the export sector gap would mean for the services sector and scope for negotiating higher increases for sectors dominated by women workers.
Oct. 27, 2016 (October 2016) Public service union JHL has written to local authority members across the country warning of many of the problems created by outsourcing. It quotes survey evidence indicating threats to service quality coming from cuts to jobs and working time as well as trends towards using less skilled staff. While noting that over 100 municipalities have brought services back in-house, JHL says there is still a trend towards outsourcing which, in healthcare, is now dominated by a small number of big companies.
Aug. 02, 2016 (August 2016) The Trade Union News website reports that employer organisations are beginning a campaign against the generally binding nature of collective agreements. This is an important element of Finnish industrial relations ensuring that collective bargaining coverage is very high - 75.5% in the private sector and 100% in the public sector. The trade union confederations have made clear their support for the system which they argue prevents undercutting by unscrupulous employers. Read more at Trade Union News (EN). Also see a recent analysis by the ETUI.
Jun. 21, 2016 (June 2016) The process of negotiating the so-called competitiveness pact is nearly at an end with 86.5% of workers now covered on the basis of the unions that have signed up. Some negotiations are continuing and so the final figure may exceed 90%. One trade union leader described it as a choice between a pest and cholera with the government threatening tougher measures if the pact were not agreed. It will mean a pay freeze and all workers working 24 hours a year more without pay. But public sector workers will also see a 30% cut in their holiday bonus. Read more at JHL (EN).
Apr. 01, 2016 Trade unions are in the midst of challenging sector negotiations on measures agreed at cross-sector level. For the public sector this will involve a 24-hour increase to annual working time without a commensurate pay increase and a 30% cut in holiday pay for the next three years. If these measures are agreed then the government should withdraw its proposals for public sector cuts.Read more at > JHL (EN)
Mar. 10, 2016 Employer and trade union organisations have agreed a competitiveness pact in order to avoid even tougher measures being imposed by the government. Some elements of the pact will impact on hours and leave and will be implemented through collective bargaining. The concessions on the trade union side should be reciprocated on the employer side with increased investment. If the government accepts the pact as an alternative to its proposals then it should abandon plans to cut public spending and raise taxes.Read more at > Trade Union News (EN)And at > SAK (EN)
Feb. 29, 2016 Trade union confederations and employer organisations are set to negotiate about moves to local bargaining in response to pressure from the government. The government wants to see a greater role for local bargaining with an implication that this might allow scope for non-union deals or terms and conditions not guaranteed by sector agreements. The government warns that it may introduce legislation if employers and trade unions can't come up with a suitable deal. Read more at > Trade Union News (EN)