The Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors in Finland (JHL) has called for a harmonisation of wages and the terms and conditions of employment as part of the social, health care and regional government reform.
JHL represents over 10 per cent of the 220,000 employees who are set to move from municipalities to counties in the reform.
“You must have the same pay for the same work. The wages of employees moving to the counties must be harmonised, and it must be done soon after the reform. The law must prescribe that the wages are harmonised to the highest level, and the state must reimburse the counties the full costs of the harmonisation,” declares Päivi Niemi-Laine, the chairperson of JHL.
Local Government Employers (KT) has previously calculated that wage costs could increase by as much as 700 million euros as a result of the employee transfers carried out in the social, health care and regional government reform. The sum would be even higher if lawmakers decided to comply with the recent decision of a labour court stipulating that wage differences between the employees moving to new employers must be wiped out within a reasonable time frame by raising the lower wages.
JHL also demanded employees moving to the counties or the private sector be afforded job protection until 2025.
Päivi Nerg, the permanent under-secretary responsible for the implementation of the social, health care and regional government reform, responded to the demands of the trade union by tweeting that wage harmonisation will be carried out through negotiations and that the wages will be tied neither to the median nor the highest level.
“The entire social, health care and regional government reform is based on new kind of partnerships, negotiating procedures and genuine dialogue,” said Nerg.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi