|New collective agreements slightly reduce pay gaps
in the municipal sector
Helsinki (08.02.2010 - Juhani Artto) The negotiators in the
municipal sector have been able to reach common ground concerning new collective
agreements. The negotiation outcome still has to be approved by the decision making
bodies. The new agreements are for two years.
The agreements do not include any pay rises common to all. Instead, certain groups, such
as catering, cleaning, social and kindergarten employees, will receive (from 1 February)
on average, an 0.8 per cent pay rise. On September 1 another rise (0.7 per cent) will be
awarded locally for purposes that improve results at work units.
These rises have the effect of slightly equalising pay gaps as, in the previous bargaining
round, nurses and some other health care employees received higher pay rises than the
The minimum pay for trainees rises from 1 February by about 9 per cent to EUR1,450 per
month. Also the status of shop stewards and safety representatives has improved.
Tuire Santamäki-Vuori, the President of the Trade Union for the Public and Welfare
Sectors, is fairly satisfied with the agreements. The weaknesses she mentions in her blog
concern the rights of fixed-term employees. The discriminatory regulations with regard to
their annual leave remains in force and no progress on the paid paternity leave demand was
reached. Nor were the unions able to get the preconditions for the use of fixed-term
employees included in the agreements, Santamäki-Vuori notes with regret.
At the end of her blog she writes that the bargaining atmosphere was business-like and