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JHL is satisfied with the general direction of the new government programme but criticizes cuts in financing of municipal services

Helsinki (20.06.2011 - Juhani Artto) Tuire Santamäki-Vuori, the President of the Trade Union for Public and Welfare Sectors JHL, regards the new government programme as decent considering the difficult starting points of the negotiations. JHL welcomes the plan to develop the structure of municipalities so that stronger municipalities - in contrast to the current situation - would be responsible for organising services. JHL is also grateful for the decision to offer municipal employees proper job security when carrying out structural changes after 2013. The existing job security guarantees were due to end in 2013.

A third point pleasing JHL is the suppression of the badly failed productivity programme, which has been carried out in the State administration.

In her first comment on the government programme, announced on Friday, Santamäki-Vuori voices criticism over two things. Tightening financing of welfare services is a step in the wrong direction, she says.

- Cuts in State support to the municipalities weaken municipal services. The economic resources are not in balance or sync with the tasks and responsibilities the municipalities are expected to fulfil by the State.

She also regrets the programme's approach to the legislative deficiencies concerning temporary employees, agency labour and the self-employed. In spite of the weak commitment to improve the labour and social legislation applicable to these groups, Santamäki-Vuori expects the government to carry out reforms that would benefit them.

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