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JUHANI ARTTO
HOMEPAGE 2013

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TRADE UNION NEWS
FROM FINLAND 1997-2013

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1965-2005

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1997-2013

Trade Union News from Finland
Very few municipal employees fear termination of employment

JHL (09.11.2012 - Juhani Artto) In Finland municipal employees continue to have great faith in job sustainability. According to a new book published on Tuesday by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, only three per cent of municipal employees agonise about losing their jobs. The book summarizes the results of a number of large-scale studies made in the 2000s on the well-being of municipal employees at work.

As a general trend there has been a reduction in stress levels, although almost a third (29 per cent) experience workloads which exceed their endurance limits. The situation is worst among municipal social workers as almost half of them (45 per cent) claim to have too much work.

"When it persists for a longer period work stress may weaken well-being at work and shorten working careers by lessening motivation and increasing the risk of falling ill", warns Jussi Vahtera, research professor at the Institute.

The quality of management has developed positively, the studies indicate. It may be one of the factors why employees over 55 years of age do not consider retirement to the same extent as earlier in the 2000s.

Another recent positive change has concerned the amount of annual sick leave days. From 2000 it grew rapidly reaching a peak in 2008 when the average number of sick leave days was 19 per employee. Since then it has come down to 18 where it has stayed in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Older employees have more sick leave days than younger employees and women clearly more than men.

Violence is a serious problem especially at work places where social workers, special teachers and nurses are to be found. Despite a reduction in physical violence almost one in ten municipal employees has been the victim of hitting or kicking.