Pia Pakarinen, the Deputy Mayor of Helsinki for Education, has rejected reports that municipalities in the capital region have agreed not to offer higher wages to attract competent nursery school teachers.
YLE on Monday reported that the municipalities have a “gentleman’s agreement” not to raise the wages despite a considerable shortage of competent applicants for open positions.
“Helsinki is not aware of such a ‘gentleman’s agreement’, not in the field of education or in the city’s central administration,” stated Pakarinen.
“The city complies with the collective bargaining agreement. I also deeply regret that such reports will certainly and – if the situation indeed was as described – deservedly arouse discontent among nursery school teachers, whose work I truly appreciate,” she added.
Helsinki’s City Executive Office has similarly assured that municipalities in the capital region make decisions on the wages of different occupational groups independently. “Helsinki does not have an agreement with other other municipalities,” said a spokesperson for the human resources department.
Liisa Pohjolainen, the head of the education department at the City of Helsinki, told YLE earlier that the municipalities are striving for “uniform wage developments” but firmly rejected the claim that they have a wage agreement in place.
The public broadcasting company highlights in its report that the monthly wages of nursery school teachers have stagnated at around 2,300 euros in three municipalities in the capital region, a level that is equivalent to the minimum wage prescribed in the collective agreement.
Virpi Mattila, the head of early-childhood education at the City of Espoo, says she regrets using the term gentleman’s agreement when discussing the issue with YLE on Monday. Also Espoo has since asserted that “each municipality is responsible for its wage policy” and that “there is no agreement in regards to early-childhood education”.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Roni Lehti – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi