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Millariikka Rytkönen, the chairperson of the Union of Health and Social Care Professionals in Finland, says raising wages in the social and health care sector is the only way to make progress on wage equality. (Credit: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)
Millariikka Rytkönen, the chairperson of the Union of Health and Social Care Professionals in Finland, says raising wages in the social and health care sector is the only way to make progress on wage equality. (Credit: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

 

The Union of Health and Social Care Professionals in Finland (Tehy) has called for higher wages in the female-dominated social and health care sector.

Tehy announced its demands on the so-called women's pay day, the day when women effectively begin working for free due to the gender pay gap. With women currently earning 83.9 per cent of what men do in Finland, this year's women's pay day fell on Friday, 2 November.

“As long as wages in the female-dominated social and health care sector are not increased, there can be no progress on wage equality. The issue is very simple and it can be solved with money,” stated Millariikka Rytkönen, the chairperson of Tehy.

“If Finland wants to preserve high-quality health care and quality of care, it cannot afford to lose a single [health care] professional. We must afford to pay higher wages in the highly skilled and female-dominated social and health care sector,” she added.

“Political decision makers will have to tackle the issue moving forward. Empty phrases will not be enough.”

Tehy on Friday also shed light on its objectives for the next government programme, arguing that investments in social and health care education should be increased rather than decreased due to the requirements imposed by digitalisation and robotisation.

“Digitalisation and robotisation will transform jobs and demand new kinds of skills. Competition for skilled workers will increase. Social and health care education must be developed and expanded further. It should also be borne in mind that the more demanding skills and responsibilities should be reflected in wages,” said Rytkönen.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi

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