Tekijä (14.07.2021 - Heikki Jokinen) In 1917, the Finnish Parliament made a historic decision: daily working hours were limited to eight hours a day, and a maximum of 47 hours a week. Working on Sundays now offered better pay. The law was the goal of the labour movement and passed due to a general strike in November 1917.

In 2021, the law is still basically the same. Except that now the legal maximum weekly working time is 40 hours since we introduced free Saturdays from the mid 1960's on.

So why do most of us work less than 40 hours a week? The answer is collective bargaining. The law sets the limit, but with collective agreements it is possible to make better deals for employees.

This is the essence of collective bargaining and for this reason some hard-line employers want to scrap the system. They dream of making the law a directive for terms of work, at least for those without strong negotiation power.

Helsinki (29.06.2021 - Heikki Jokinen) Akava will cease its involvement in the Labour Institute for Economic Research PT and focus on its own research, done by their think-tank Akava Works.

Akava, the Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff in Finland is one of the three trade union confederations in Finland. Since 1993, all three - together with several trade unions - have been members of the support association of the Labour Institute for Economic Research PT.

The Institute’s roots go back to 1951 when the People’s Market Research Institute started as the first research institute of the Finnish labour movement. Since 1974, after some reorganising, the Institute has been an independent body supported by an association with several member organisations.

Helsinki (16.06.2021 - Heikki Jokinen) From September 2021, Finland will have a new major collective agreement for the municipal sector social and health care workers. This agreement covers some 180,000 employees, more than 40 per cent of local authority employees.

Right now municipal sector social and health care workers are still part of the big General Collective Agreement for Municipal Personnel (KVTES). It covers a total of 421,000 employees.

Tehy - The Union of Health and Social Care Professionals in Finland and Super - the Finnish Union of Practical Nurses have been demanding for a long time their own collective agreement for municipal social and health care workers.

Helsinki (01.06.2021 - Heikki Jokinen) On June 13, Finland will vote in municipal elections. There are 309 municipalities in all. The latter wield considerable power - and money - to organise things like daycare, schools, traffic, public housing, cultural services, sport facilities and - until the upcoming administrative reform - health care, too.

The size of the municipal council depends on the number of inhabitants and varies between 13 and 85 seats. In total, voters will elect some 9,000 councilors. Before the actual election day there is advance voting between 26 May and 8 June in hundreds of locations.

Local elections are important for the trade unions, and especially important for the unions working in the public sector and municipal services. The decisions made in municipal councils can radically affect the terms of employment, for instance whether to outsource services or not.