Helsinki (05.07.2019 - Heikki Jokinen) The activation model for unemployed people is to be scrapped, the Minister of Social Affairs and Health Aino-Kaisa Pekonen (Left Alliance) said on 3 July.

She estimates that due to the time needed for the necessary legal changes in Parliament it will be the beginning of the next year before the activation model is confined to history.

This so called activation model is the brainchild of the previous right-wing PM Sipilä government. What has resulted in real terms is that an unemployed job-seeker forfeits 4.65 percent of his or her benefit if they are deemed to be less than active in their search for employment.

Helsinki (02.07.2019 - Heikki Jokinen) Pay differences in Finland are smaller than in most other countries in Europe, according to a new study conducted by the Labour Institute for Economic Research. The average wage and salary earners monthly income in 2015 was 3,386 euro in Finland.

The study compared pay inequality in 32 European countries. In Finland, full-time wage and salary earners in the highest income decile were paid an average of 2.73 times more than those in the lowest income decile. In Denmark the figure (2.52) was below Finland and in Sweden higher, 3.12.

These are, internationally speaking, relatively low figure. In Estonia, for example, the best paid decile of wage and salary earners got 5.05 times more than the lowest decile.

Helsinki (7.6.2019 - Heikki Jokinen) The Union Congress of the Service Union United PAM (4 - 6 June) unanimously elected Annika Rönni-Sällinen as its new President. Ann Selin, PAM President since 2002, had already made it clear one year ago that she would not be running for re-election.

Rönni-Sällinen (born 1976) is a lawyer and has had long and considerable experience working with the trade unions. Prior to this she had been working as a Director for the Law and Environment Department at the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions SAK. PAM is a member union of SAK.

She has also been working since 2002 in various posts at PAM’s central office, as Bargaining Manager among other things.

Helsinki (05.06.2019 - Heikki Jokinen) The trade unions are satisfied with the new planned government programme. The incoming PM Antti Rinne government published a general outline of its programme on 3 June.

Plans to scrap the failed activation model, invest more in education and employment services, focus on gender equality and a commitment to cooperate with labour market parties were warmly greeted by the unions.

One of the major positive issues is, moreover, a complete change in the government labour market policy. The outgoing PM Sipilä government tried to dictate what unions must do, whereas the incoming PM Rinne government favours cooperation and negotiation.