In the summary of the analysis, Merja Kauhanen brings up similarities, such as the fact that the collective agreements negotiated in both countries also extensively regulate other terms of employment besides salaries and working hours. One shared feature is the commitment to industrial peace brought about by collective agreements.
– In both countries, binding collective agreements basically apply to all employee groups at workplaces. The salary policy based on solidarity enacted by unions has also raised the lowest salaries and kept the salary dispersion narrow and salary differences relatively small. One of the ways the models differ is that in Finland there is a statutory extension to the collective agreements to also cover unorganised employers, which Sweden does not have. On the other hand, even in Sweden unorganised employers can adhere to the stipulations of collective agreements through so-called joining agreements, writes Kauhanen.
Collective agreements are inclusive
According to the analysis, a defining characteristic of the collective agreement models in both Sweden and Finland is that their coverage has remained high over time.
Here coverage means the share of all salary earners who are covered by collective agreements. In Sweden, some 90% of salary earners aged 16–64 were covered by a collective agreement. In the private sector the coverage has been 83–85%, while the share is 100% in the public sector.
In Finland, the total coverage of collective agreements is some 90% for all sectors. In the private sector this share is some 84% and in the public sector it is 100%.
Industrial Employees TP is a cooperation, research and lobbying association for employees with 14 member unions. Academic Engineers and Architects in Finland TEK is one of those member unions.