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Municipal reform needs support of municipal employees

JHL (10.02.2012 - Juhani Artto) The profound and radical municipal reform plans envisaged by the government cannot succeed without the support of municipal employees, the board of the Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors JHL, made clear on Thursday. Genuine cooperation between the employer side and employees is one of the preconditions for establishing this support.

Any efforts to harmonise wages and salaries in municipalities, which are to be amalgamated, must be negotiated in good faith and the necessary resources for facilitating this harmonization must be made available. Also, different personnel sectors must be treated equally and working conditions have to be developed and improved. These are among the altogether eight preconditions for employee support of the reform listed by JHL’s board.

One important area is job security. In this regard JHL is satisfied with the programme of the present government, which guarantees a continuation of employment for existing employees for several years to come after any amalgamation.

The goal of this local authority reform is to restructure the network of municipalities in a way that enables municipalities to carry out the responsibilities mandated to them and to offer decent services which are acceptable to people everywhere in ‘greying’ Finland, JHL's board underlines.

"In addition to the ageing of the population local authority reform must take into account, among other things, the growing need of services for children and young people in areas where the total population is growing."

The over 600-page report, published on Wednesday and drawn up by a task force made up of civil servants, wants to keep both the organizing and the provision of welfare services as tasks which belong to the municipalities. JHL's board strongly supports this starting point.

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