Hundreds of companies about to lose their option of local bargaining next week

26.11.2021
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Blog post

Is this what the manoeuvre was all about – surely not?

Negotiations are currently underway to renew collective agreements in the technology industry, as the current ones expire at the end of November. The Federation of Professional and Managerial Staff YTN, like other employee unions, is negotiating with the new Technology Industry Employers of Finland association, founded by Technology Industries of Finland, which will negotiate national collective agreements for the sector from now on. This change follows a unilateral announcement and decision by Technology Industries of Finland last March.

It is to be expected that many of the agreements concerning employees as well as professional and managerial staff in the technology industry will continue to be generally binding. The exception, however, appears to be the IT services agreement, which is expected to no longer be generally binding.

A significant proportion of the companies that are members of Technology Industries of Finland will therefore continue to be covered by generally binding collective agreements, but they will lose the right to local bargaining because they are not members of Technology Industry Employers of Finland, which concludes the agreements. These companies will therefore have to comply with the minimum conditions of the generally binding collective agreements but will no longer be able to make use of the – usually very ample – opportunity for local bargaining granted in the agreement. Quite a surprising step backwards!

All in all, the practical outcome of the strategic change by Technology Industries of Finland last spring seems very strange in relation to the demands and statements that we have heard from the employers concerning the extension of local wage bargaining and its importance for the competitiveness of companies. The fact is that, at the moment, hundreds of companies appear to be losing their option of local bargaining starting this December. Is this what the manoeuvre was all about – surely not?

The fact is that, at the moment, hundreds of companies appear to be losing their option of local bargaining starting this December. Is this what the manoeuvre was all about – surely not?

Fortunately, there is an easy way for member companies of Technology Industries of Finland to take advantage of the possibility of local bargaining by joining Technology Industry Employers of Finland, which also negotiates collective agreements. In this way, companies will be covered by a “normally” applicable collective agreement and can benefit from all bargaining possibilities. I firmly believe that this is in the interests of both the companies and their employees and that it is, in fact, a key success factor.

Of course, companies also have the option of negotiating a company-specific collective agreement. When choosing this route, companies should bear in mind that a collective agreement can only be negotiated, both in practice and in law, if it is signed and concluded by an association representing the employees. In the case of professional and managerial staff, this means YTN.

The author is both the President of YTN and the Labour Market Director of TEK.

Read more on collective agreement negotiations