From the initial stages of the Government Programme process, we have endeavoured to influence the Government’s proposed working life reforms through negotiations and agreement. At Akava, we are disappointed that, with their proposed reforms, the country’s Government will be leading us towards a more uncertain and substandard working life. The changes will place further strain on the labour market situation. We are concerned that this will jeopardise Finland’s strong tradition of co-operation when it comes to the development of working life.
The Government under Prime Minister Petteri Orpo has included a so-called export-driven wage model in its programme. If implemented, this would limit the ability of the national conciliator or conciliation panel to suggest higher wage increases than the “general line”, which is usually based on the results of private sector negotiations. This would likely hamper the potential of wage programmes in publicly funded low-wage sectors. The Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers (FUURT) is also particularly worried about the Government’s planned changes regarding the position of fixed-term employees and unemployment security.
Many trade unions have announced that they will be arranging political demonstrations and strikes within their workplaces during the period 31 January–2 February 2024.
Akava’s negotiation organisations for public sector professionals (JUKO) and for professional and managerial staff (YTN) have not issued decisions on the strikes and FUURT intends to comply with the policy of the negotiation organisations.
Akava affiliates, including FUURT, are, however, organising joint walkouts at specific workplaces at 2–4 p.m. on Tuesday, 6 February 2024.
As a reminder, FUURT states that if other unions announce strikes, our members should respect the principle of neutrality within their workplaces. Non-members and members of other unions are not obliged to carry out the work tasks which fall within the scope of the industrial action and which they do not normally perform. They have the right to refrain from carrying out such work tasks. Without the decision of their own negotiation organisation or trade organisation, members are not permitted to participate in strikes and the Union may not pay any strike benefits.
FUURT: Statement concerning the changing of the Unemployment Security Act (in Finnish)
FUURT: Statement on the development of industrial peace legislation (in Finnish)
YTN: Contractual autonomy of trade unions at stake (in Finnish)
Johanna Moisio, Executive Director
Nina Hahtela, Senior Adviser
Siiri Nousiainen, Head of Communications
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