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Tight schedules speed up negotiations on how to apply
the framework agreement


JHL (10.11.2011 - Juhani Artto) This is a hectic time for the people involved in the collective bargaining process at the Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors JHL. The deadlines to complete negotiations on how to apply the framework agreement, signed by the labour market confederations on October 13, are fast approaching.

The goal is to have new agreements ready in all sectors, represented by JHL, by November 24. All other unions that have approved the framework agreement as their bargaining starting point face the same challenge. The following day the labour market confederations will meet and conclude whether the framework agreement has been approved broadly enough or not. The agreement will take effect only if the approval rate is regarded as representative. If such a conclusion cannot be made, the agreement will not bind the government to honour its commitments i.e. keep its part of the bargain, and the entire framework agreement will not take effect.

JHL has about a dozen negotiations going on, bargaining with the municipal and State employer representatives being the two major negotiations. The framework agreement sets 4.3 per cent as the maximum cost impact of the new agreements. The employers tend to push as much as possible for this rise to be decided at local negotiations, whereas JHL and other unions emphasize the need to give a large provision of the pay rises in equal amounts to all employees.

The negotiations cover also the so-called qualitative elements of the agreements. On JHL's agenda are, for example, proposals to improve employees' possibilities to influence one's own working hours and to abolish regulations that discriminate against temporary and part-time labour. JHL also strives for improvements on how the use of agency labour is regulated.

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