Industrial action notice for the university sector

News article

The main contracting organisations of the university sector have issued an industrial action notice.

The main contracting organisations of the university sector, the Negotiation Organisation for Public Sector Professionals JUKO, the Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors JHL and the Federation of Salaried Employees Pardia have today, 13 February, issued an industrial action notice to the National Conciliator's Office and to the employer in question.

The agreement negotiations continue in spite of this notice. The targeted industrial action is conducted as a strike at the University of Helsinki on 28 February 2018 from 0:00 to 24:00, unless a conclusion is reached in the negotiations by 27 February. Other universities are arranging demonstrations to support the University of Helsinki employees.

All members of the unions included in the collective labour agreement for universities, JUKO, JHL and Pardia, will participate in the strike. JUKO represents the members of represents the members of the Academic Engineers and Architects in Finland TEK in the collective labour agreement negotiations.

The strike does not apply to:

  • the necessary treatment of people, animals, samples and live collections, on-call IT service duty according to section 20, chapter 4 of the collective labour agreement and the maintenance of IT infrastructure insofar as it is necessary with regard to the safety of the properties and live materials,
  •  such research work that, when interrupted, has the potential to cause considerable damages (for example, interrupting a long-term series of studies),
  • people working or attending a conference abroad,
  • doctoral candidates, their opponents, custodians and
  • university vice-rectors and representatives of the employer, chancellor, rector, director of administration and HR director.

The initial objective is that the strike pay will be at least EUR 50 a day. For more information about the strike pay, please contact TEK. If there is no progress in the negotiations, the organisations are prepared to expand the action to other universities as well.

The employer wants to decide upon salaries instead of negotiating

The university sector has been without a collective agreement since the beginning of February. New collective labour agreement negotiations are not progressing because the employer has indicated a contempt for its staff throughout the negotiations.

  • The employer wants to decide upon salaries. The employer is unilaterally advocating the renewal of the salary system that would increase the proportion of local regulation regarding remuneration. In this model, the employer would have more autonomy in deciding who is eligible for a salary increase.
  • The suggested modest salary increases do not indicate that the valuable work performed by the staff is actually respected. Universities can afford to increase salaries whilst maintaining the current operational level as there was no deficit in the financial statement of any university in 2016. In addition, the cuts in government funding have already been compensated for by massive staff reductions and years of minimal annual salary increases.
  • However, the employer is reluctant to discuss the objectives important to employees, such as improving the status of temporary employees, rationalising the use of working hours and reasonable salary increases.

Show your support in social media and at your own university

The industrial action is a joint effort of the employee organisations: we stand together and support the members who participate in the action.

  • Other universities and normal schools are arranging demonstrations to demand fair terms of employment on 28 February outside working hours. Participate in the demonstration on your own campus and wear the "We are the university" badge! The badges and additional material are delivered to university-specific industrial action committees well before the end of February. For further information, please contact your local union representative or your own association.
  • The "We are the university" spirit is required once again! Take a stand in social media with the hashtag #wearetheuniversity and #meolemmeyliopisto.  

Follow the communication from JUKO and your own union

Members are informed of the progress of the negotiations and industrial action measures via JUKO's and unions' communication channels.

JUKO communications:

For further information, please contact:

Daniel Valtakari
Senior adviser
Academic Engineers and Architects in Finland TEK
Gsm: +358 40 7720 276