Helsinki (08.04.2020 - Heikki Jokinen) Conciliation did not help bring about a local government collective agreement. The existing agreement expired at the end of March, but there has been no major progress in the negotiations so far.

The parties met - telecommuting - on 7 April with the National Conciliator for the third time. This did not break the deadlock and the next meeting will be held after Easter, on 14 April.

The coronavirus pandemic is making the negotiations more difficult. Municipalities say that they have even less money than before, due to the high healthcare costs right now.

On the other hand, the same crisis has highlighted the vital work of health care workers and aroused even more sympathy for their demands for a real pay rise.

Demand for its own collective agreement

Tehy - The Union of Health and Social Care Professionals in Finland and Super - the Finnish Union of Practical Nurses are also demanding their own collective agreement for municipal health and social care workers. This would cover 170,000 employees.

Right now they are a part of the major municipal agreement, covering 310,000 local government employees. Teachers and medical doctors have their own collective agreements.

The employers say that their own agreement could be possible, but only after a long transition period. The unions want to see moves to bring this about happen within a far shorter timeframe.

The unions say they will not initiate any industrial action during the corona pandemic.

Päivi Niemi-Laine, President of the Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors JHL said one week ago that in the local government negotiations there are several major disagreements: the pay rise, changes in the text of the agreement and on how to develop the structure of the agreement.

JHL is also one of the parties negotiating a collective agreement on behalf of the 20,000 employees of the Evangelical Lutheran state church. These negotiations began in the middle of January. With no salvation in sight, the parties have asked help from the National Conciliator. Negotiations will continue on 15 April.


Read more:

New collective agreement for the state sector (06.04.2020)

Coronavirus effect on the collective bargaining round (19.03.2020)