Helsinki (07.08.2017 - Heikki Jokinen) Vuokko Piekkala took up her new post as National Conciliator on the Monday 6 August. Immediately after the Finnish Government appointed her she alarmed the trade unions by her comments to the media back in July.

Piekkala is a lawyer and had earlier worked as the labour market director at the Commission for Church Employers. This is one of Finland's central labour market organisations and represents the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland in labour market issues.

The National Conciliator is appointed for a four-year-period. For alternate terms the candidate comes from either the trade union side or employers' side.

The position fell vacant as the previous National Conciliator, former trade union lawyer Minna Helle resigned before the end of her term. At the beginning of June Helle changed her career direction when offered a job as the labour market director at the employers Technology Industries of Finland.

JHL (26.07.2018 - Heikki Jokinen) The new Early Childhood Education and Care Act passed by the Finnish Parliament at the end of June has failed before it got started, says Päivi Niemi-Laine, President of the Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors.

The Next Government must redraft the law and modify it for the benefit of the child, JHL President insists.

The new law claims to focus on the benefit of the child by raising the educational level of the staff and clarifying job titles. Niemi-Laine says that the law reform did not make any relevant change to improve the quality of early childhood education and care or benefit the child in any way.

– The real problems such as groups which are too big or the ratio of employees to children can continue by the decision of this Government, she says.

Helsinki (24.7.2018 - Heikki Jokinen) The Finnish Government will withdraw a planned proposal for amending the Employment Contracts Act by allowing an employer to make, without restrictions, fixed-term employment contracts with anyone under 30 years of age who has been an unemployed job seeker for at least three months.

The existing legislation demands a justifiable reason for a fixed-term employment contract.

Trade union federations are very pleased with the decision. They have been opposing the proposal all the way since it was first announced in April.

The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions SAK insisted in the end of June the Government call a halt to this proposal and other plans to weaken employment security. The Federation made it clear that if these proposals were to go ahead, it would take action at places of employment.

Helsinki (27.03.2018 - Heikki Jokinen) A strike in the financial services sector was avoided at the eleventh hour. The parties reached an agreement on the new collective agreement on the evening before the first three days work stoppage in banks was due to begin.

The negotiations for a new collective agreement in the financial services sector have been going on since October last year. The existing collective agreement had ended back in November.

The crux of the dispute has been weekend work. Both parties are now ready to open up more possibilities for banks to provide service also at the weekends.