The negotiations on the terms of employment of approximately 34,000 university employees have continued intensely this week. The negotiations continued until midnight on Thursday.
– Unfortunately, we did not reach a solution by the deadline. All the questions are still open, so we’ll continue negotiating today, JUKO’s Head of Collective Bargaining for the university sector Katja Aho says.
Notice was previously served to terminate the universities’ current collective agreement, effective 31 March. As negotiations did not reach a result before that date, university employees no longer have a valid collective agreement as of today, Friday 1 April.
In such circumstances, the universities will continue to apply the terms of the old collective agreement until a new one enters into force. This is known as the after-effect.
During a state of no valid collective agreement, there is no obligation to maintain industrial peace and industrial action is possible if the employees and employer do not reach agreement on terms of employment.
The university sector collective agreement negotiations began on 11 February.
Objectives which are important for JUKO include:
- More time for research and artistic endeavours.
- Clarification of the ground rules on remote and multi-locational work, particularly for other professional staff.
- University employees want the family leave reform, which enters into force at the start of August, to be seen in their terms of employment, particularly in the form of equally paid leave for new parents.
- Seventy per cent of teaching and research staff still work on fixed-term contracts. The methods to fix this situation must be found at the negotiating table.
- Increased workloads must be taken into consideration in the collective agreement.
- University employees have been overstretching themselves throughout the pandemic and they deserve commensurate pay rises. JUKO seeks general percentage increases to ensure all staff groups see their salaries progress. There is no justification for university employees receiving lower salary increases weaker than employees in other sectors.