Helsinki (04.10.2017 - Heikki Jokinen) Members of Tehy - The Union of Health and Social Care Professionals in Finland have voted in the new Union Council. In November it will elect a new President of the Union.

The 83 member strong Tehy Union Council is elected by direct member ballot for a four year period. There were six lists of candidates, based mainly around political groups, but there were also non-aligned candidates on the lists.

The Social Democratic list Yhdessä eteenpäin (Forward together) won a notable victory this time around. In the previous Union Council which had 63 members it had 17 seats, but in this latest election it managed to win 30 seats in the new 83 member Council. So in real terms it has succeeded in increasing its share of seats on the Union Council from 27 per cent to 36 per cent.

Helsinki (27.09.2017 - Heikki Jokinen) Exactly 20 years ago, in August 1997, the Finnish journalist Juhani Artto started up a new news service Trade Union News from Finland. Ever since then it has been publishing hundreds of news items in English, with a particular focus on the Finnish trade union movement and working life issues.

The service is currently being supported by all three Finnish trade union confederations, nine of their member unions and one union which is not a member of any confederation.

Their financial support has enabled the Trade Union News from Finland to continue publishing for all of these 20 years.

These confederations and unions often include our news features on their own web pages, offer links to this news, share it with their international umbrella organisations or mail it to their international contacts.

JHL (21.09.2017 - Heikki Jokinen) Most of JHL’s collective agreements are set to expire in January 2018. The Union is now preparing for the next round of collective bargaining by seeking members' opinions and discussing goals for forthcoming negotiations.

JHL, the Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors has some 60 collective agreements which cover various sectors and companies.

The Union will hold ten regional meetings for its members in October. This will afford members the opportunity to voice their views and opinions on what they see as important in the upcoming round of collective bargaining.

Helsinki (18.09.2017 - Heikki Jokinen). A new round of collective bargaining has begun. Several major collective agreements are due for renewal this Autumn. The question concerning the level of pay rise is still open.

The first one to negotiate is the Paper Workers' Union. Their collective agreement expires at the end of September. The Union announced on 12 September that all the original demands of both sides are all still on the negotiation table.

The Union want to see changes in rules with respect to working hours, protection against dismissal and transition assistance. The employers are interested in increasing flexibility regarding working hours and the use of hired labour.

As the pay rise is always the last thing to be negotiated, no figures have been published so far as to what this might be.

Helsinki (21.08.2017 - Heikki Jokinen) The position of those with zero-hours contract must be improved during the next round of collective bargaining, insists the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions SAK.

This year there will be no national labour market pact, the unions will negotiate individually their own collective agreements. A large number of collective agreements will be negotiated this autumn.

However, SAK have prepared qualitative goals for the collective agreements. SAK published these in August. The goals are common for all the SAK member unions, but the unions are free to adopt various methods to work towards reaching them.

JHL (16.08.2017 - Heikki Jokinen) Trade unions representing the municipal sector are seeking a significant pay rise in the next round of collective bargaining.

"The public sector has already done its part in the wake of massive cuts", the unions say in their joint statement. "An unfair cut in the holiday bonus was forced on the public sector as part of the national labour pact."

The unions are standing firm and and say the incomes of public sector employees cannot be frozen. Strengthening domestic demand will strengthen employment.

JHL (11.08.2017 - Heikki Jokinen) JHL President Päivi Niemi-Laine says that the Government should abandon its unilateral decision to reform the Working Hours Act. The proposal was presented before the trilateral working group, and all labour market organisations agreed that the proposal was not feasible.

- All labour market parties have voiced their dissent towards the proposal, Niemi-Laine says. Both trade union confederations and the employers' federation expressed their doubts in respect of the proposal.

Nonetheless, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment decided to forge ahead with the drafting of a proposal, even though it is formed on a basis that has been widely criticised.

The Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors JHL do not accept that employees should be the ones who should have to pay the price of the planned flexibility in working hours.

Helsinki (10.08.2017 - Heikki Jokinen) Trade Union Pro is building a new comprehensive employment service for all of its members. Union members will soon get a message concerning vacancies via their mobile phone.

The service includes a broad package of job seeking service, a search for vacancies and personal guidance and training. The service is free for all Union members and will begin this year.

Trade Union Pro already has a web page which highlights vacancies in the fields the Union is working. On the web page it is possible to search for a job according to region or profession.

Trade Union Pro has 115,000 members and is the largest private sector union for clerical employees.

Helsinki (20.07.2017 - Heikki Jokinen) A total of 2,277 employees lost their jobs in Finland during the first half of this year.

The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions SAK has been keeping track of the number of redundancies since 2006 and the figures for the first half of this year are lower than ever.

The previous record on low number of redundancies at a corresponding time was reached in 2007, when the figure was 3,448.

Helsinki (15.6.2017 - Heikki Jokinen) The time of centralised nation level labour market agreements is over in Finland. The next round of collective bargaining will take place at union level. Unions are now preparing to set out their goals for these negotiations.

Since 1968 Finland has had a tradition of national trilateral labour market pacts. As of from that time, for the most part, some kind on national agreement has provided the framework for union level negotiations.

In March the Confederation of Finnish Industries EK terminated all national agreements with the trade union confederations. It is no longer willing to make any further national level labour market agreements.

This autumn Finland is heading towards a union level collective bargaining round. The existing collective agreements start to expire after summer and one of the first major collective agreements to be negotiated is in the paper industry.