Trade Union News from Finland
Not gimmicks but
long-term development work improves
well-being at work
Pro (21.09.2012 - Juhani Artto)
Salaried employees' trade union Pro published the results of its
latest survey on Wednesday. It is based on replies given in April-May 2012
by 12,000 rank
and file members. The survey focuses (1) on the state and development of
well-being at work, (2) on the pay, working hours etc., as well as systems
at work places
and (3) on productivity.
The results of the survey expose that attempts to develop well-being at work
have not led to any clear improvement despite the numerous projects that
have been tried and other
efforts to reach a higher level of well-being at work. One may conclude from
the lack of desired results
that any efforts to achieve well-being at work - at company and work
place level - must be more serious and ultimately is something that requires
a more long-term approach says Antti Rinne,
the President of the union. And this is also a key element in the struggle
productivity, he adds.
When trying to improve well-being at work various gimmicks may seem to work
for a while but no sustainable development can be reached without
long-term and dedicated work, Rinne stresses.
Majority are satisfied with the working life
Here are some of the most interesting concrete statistics to be garnered
Two thirds of the respondents (68 per cent) say they are, in general terms,
satisfied with their working life. An even higher proportion is satisfied
their working hours (75 per cent). And the percentage is also very high
amongst those who appreciate their leisure time and holidays, when they are
from work matters (73 per cent). But only 43 per cent are satisfied with
their salaries and 40 per cent say discrimination and favouritism occurs at
their work places. One out of two claim they do not receive useful or
encouraging feedback about
Only a minority (46 per cent) regard their employers' investments in skills
improvement as relevant. On average the respondents have spent 2.7 days per
annum in training organized by their employers. This has remained unchanged
last four years. Older employees are clearly given less training than
younger employees. Very few employers financially assist their employees'
A majority (57 per cent) of the respondents say they have experienced a
sense of being in a position to be able to
influence their own work but only 42 per cent feel that they have been
participate in the development work of the entire organization. Almost 56
per cent say that the values at their work places match or coincide with
Elements of the pay system have not materialised properly in the labour
market among Pro's rank and file members. A third claim not to have had so
discussions with their supervisors within the last 12 months. Almost half of
respondents (43 per cent) have no written description of their tasks and
over half (58 per cent) work without a written assessment as to how
their tasks are. Three out of four (74 per cent) are not included in work
places' training plans.
Half of the respondents have no opportunity to use or avail of a working
hour bank and over half (54 per cent) are not allowed to telework.
Trust in union activism increasing
Regular, large-scale surveys constitute an essential part of Pro's agenda.
The results of these surveys provide important information to the union's
policy-makers on changes taking place at work places and among the rank and
In the latest survey, one very positive reading for the union leadership and
activists must be the figures that reveal increasing trust in union
activism. Three years ago 58 per cent regarded union activity as "strong
enough" and now 65 per cent of the respondents agreed with that assertion.
What is also positive is this: Almost two thirds (63 per cent) experience
that a supportive and helpful spirit prevails at their work places.