Finnish Finance unions fight to renew national collective agreement
In Finland, the Collective Agreement is negotiated and signed by three trade unions, two of which are UNI Finance affiliates, Pro and Nousu. The employer associations are Finance Finland FA and Service Sector Employers Palta. The validity of the previous CA ended at the end of November 2017 and accordingly, negotiations began four months ago.
Negotiations have been very hard as the Employer associations wish to change the rules for agreeing to weekend work. Currently, this is possible on a voluntary basis whereby local reps/company unions may agree on terms and employees willing to work during Saturdays may do so on these conditions. The Employers’ intention is to introduce the possibility of deciding who will work during Saturdays and Sundays. Moreover, they want to pay less for weekend work.
The Unions jointly decided on overtime work ban in December. Pro and Nousu consequently went on two strikes in late December 2017 and early January respectively, both for two days. All three Finnish unions participated in this years industrial action.
Since then, in line with Finnish practice, the National Conciliator submitted the proposal for a new sector CA on Jan 31 and requested to have all parties’ answers by Feb 2. YTN and both employer associations were willing to accept the proposal. However, Pro and Nousu believe the proposal not impartial and does not fulfill the needs of their members.
Another problematic issue is the structure of salary increases. Many sectors in Finland have agreed on 3,2 % increase level for two years period. Meanwhile the proposal offered a total of 3,2 % but 1,3 % of that would be based on individual salary talks, meaning that only 1,9 % increase in two years would be guaranteed for individual employee.
UNI Europa Finance stands in solidarity with its affiliates in defending national collective bargaining and supports the unions in the struggle against the worsening of the Finnish Finance sector collective agreement.