Helsinki (12.05.2022 - Heikki Jokinen) Nurses' unions rejected the conciliation committee proposal for a pay deal for the municipal sector. Other unions and employers in the sector accepted it.

The two nurses' unions Tehy - The Union of Health and Social Care Professionals in Finland and Super - the Finnish Union of Practical Nurses have demanded a five year pay programme. This would raise nurses' salaries annually by 3.6 per cent over the next 5 years on top of the standard pay increase.

Other unions in the municipal sector also demanded a pay rise that goes over the general pay rise in the private sector. The reasons and motivation for all unions are similar: without a real increase of income in the municipal sector the already existing shortage of labour will only get worse.

Helsinki (03.05.2022 - Heikki Jokinen) More than 80,000 local government employees strike in ten major Finnish cities 3 - 9 May. In Helsinki, Espoo, Kauniainen, Vantaa, Jyväskylä, Turku, Rovaniemi, Kuopio, Oulu and Tampere, schools, daycare centres, museums, public libraries and many other public services shut down for several days.

The strike began after negotiations for a new collective agreement for 425,000 municipal employees failed. Several other, smaller collective agreements for the municipal sector are still to be hammered out, too.

The unions are worried about the competitiveness of the public sector. Right now, in many municipal workplaces it is extremely difficult to recruit new people. The salaries are not as high as in the private sector and the workload is often very heavy.

Helsinki (29.04.2022 - Heikki Jokinen) The 112 day long strike at paper giant UPM paper and pulp mills has finally ended. Paper began to roll out of the mills again this week.

The parties signed five separate collective agreements for various UPM business sectors. All of these are valid from 22.4.2022 until 21.4.2026. The pay rise follows the general line, the Paper Workers’ Union say, without indicating the exact figures.

Thus far, the collective agreements made in Finland have brought about a 1.9 - 2.0 cent pay rise for this year. The pay rise at UPM has now been agreed for two years and the remaining two years of the agreement will be negotiated later.

Helsinki (13.04.2022 - Heikki Jokinen) When a union declares a strike, it pays strike pay to its members. Without this benefit and a big enough industrial action fund the union is toothless in its efforts to improve the terms of work.

The amount of strike pay varies, as every union decides this by themselves. But, this year we have seen a clear rise in the level of strike pay. This indicates that the unions are very serious about reaching their goals and are prepared to pay for it.

According to Finnish legislation, 16 euro per day of the strike pay is tax-free. For the rest, there is a flat tax rate of 45 per cent. However, in the final taxation assessment this will be balanced out to be in line with the percentage according to the full-year earned income.