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Collective agreement negotiations continue in the public sector

News article

The negotiations in the municipality sector have continued with the national mediator. Negotiations in the university sector continue as well.

Updated on 24.3.2022


Municipalities were the first to begin collective agreement negotiations in the public sector on the 11th of January. Central goals for the municipal sector are a separate raise of the basic salary level (salary programme), improving working time protection and a more equal distribution of family leave. Municipal collective agreements concern some 425 000 employees. 

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Avainta fields

Negotiations for the terms of employment in Avainta fields (AVAINTES) began on the 12th of January. In this round of contracts, JUKO is aiming for general increases to salaries and a multi-year salary program. Other objectives include compensating travel time. It is also important for JUKO that distance work is treated in the same way as other work in terms of working time. This applies, for example, to overtime practices.

JUKO considers improvements to the allocated time and monetary compensation for employee representatives to be a prerequisite for the success of local agreements.

The AVAINTES collective agreement concerns some 45 000 employees.  

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Agreement for the health and social services sector

Negotiations for the collective agreement for employees and civil servants working in health and social services (SOTE agreement) began on the 17th of January with a discussion on schedules and the manner of proceeding. In the day’s meeting, negotiations on matters related to the work groups on working hours and salaries that are conducting their work in accordance with the current agreement were also continued.  

JUKO’s Chief Negotiator Jouni Vattulainen emphasises that the COVID-19 pandemic brings its own challenges to the negotiation table.  Additionally, the lack of new specialists is real and it is only going to worsen by the end of the decade as a result of people retiring.

– We wish to ensure such terms and conditions for the work of  social and healthcare employees that entice new students into the field and allow professionals to feel proud about their work. We are seeking encouraging raises that also include a separate wage programme. Furthermore, we are seeking flexibility in the regulation of working hours and compensation for travel time, says Vattulainen.

These negotiations concern some 180 000 social and healthcare services employees working for municipalities or municipal consortiums who transferred from the General Collective Agreement for Municipal Personnel (KVTES) to the new SOTE collective agreement on the 1st of September 2021.

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The negotiations in the university sector begun on February 11th. The negotiations concern approximately 34,000 university employees. 

The head of collective bargaining for the university sector at JUKO, Katja Aho, says the employees’ goals are clear.

– Our key goals concern improved working conditions, reduced use of fixed-term contracts, clearer ground rules on remote and multi-locational work and the transposition of the family leave reform into the collective agreement.

In terms of pay rises, JUKO has traditionally sought general increases in percentages, thus ensuring all staff groups see their salaries progress. The specific aims regarding salary increases will be confirmed as the negotiations progress.

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The state

Collective agreement negotiation for state employees and civil servants have reached an agreement. The agreement includes, for example, salary increases and changes to family leave benefits. 

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Negotiations on the collective agreement for church employees have come to an agreement. 

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Read more on collective agreement negotiations in the public sector at www.juko.fi or on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #neuvotellen2022 (information in Finnish).

What is agreed in the collective agreements?

Salary earners' organisations and employers' organisations negotiate a number of employment regulations that are not included in Finnish law. In the negotiations, salary increases, working time and holiday regulations are agreed upon, for example.

The agreements define a minimum level of terms of employment. It is always possible to agree on even better terms in a local, more specific agreement.

Collective agreements include qualitative and monetary benefits. Negotiations usually proceed by first addressing the qualitative objectives and their potential cost implications, and only finally agreeing on salaries as part of the whole.

What is JUKO?

JUKO is the negotiation organisation for employees in the public field. As the main negotiating authority for municipalities, the state, the church and universities, JUKO promotes the interests of more than 200,000 highly educated employees and supervisors. They have 3,900 employee representatives. 

The people conducting JUKO's negotiations are experts from TEK and other Akava unions. JUKO negotiates with employers' representatives.

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