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Minister of Employment Tuula Haatainen postponed the Helsinki Metropolitan Region strike by two weeks – JHL still ready to defend its objectives by exerting various kinds of pressure

By request of the National Conciliator, Minister of Employment Tuula Haatainen has postponed the Helsinki Metropolitan Region strike declared by JUKO and JAU (JHL and Jyty) by two weeks. The new period for the strike concerning the cities of Helsinki, Vantaa, Espoo and Kauniainen is 3-9 May, unless a solution is found in the municipal sector’s labour dispute before that.

The municipal sector’s strike in Helsinki Metropolitan Region will be postponed by two weeks. National Conciliator Vuokko Piekkala asked the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland (TEM) to postpone the start of the strike because of its significant societal impacts. In case no solution is found to the situation in the municipal sector before that, the strike declared by JUKO and JAU (trade unions JHL and Jyty) will become a reality on 3-9 May in the extent previously announced. The possible strike applies to approximately 31,000 employees.

The strike warning applies to nearly all municipal-sector agreements: General collective agreement for the municipal sector (KVTES), health and social services sector agreement (SOTE), and the agreements for the education sector (OVTES), hourly paid personnel (TTES), physicians (LS), and technical personnel (TS). In addition, for JHL’s and Jyty’s part, the strike warning applies to the collective agreement for employers’ association Avaintyönantajat Avainta ry which municipal-owned companies comply with, and the Seure Employees Services collective agreement (SEURETES).

Since the beginning of the year, a solution has been sought for the municipal sector’s labour dispute – first at a shared negotiation table, then under the lead of the National Conciliator. The employee organisations rejected the conciliation proposal made at the end of March by National Conciliator Vuokko Piekkala. At the end of last week, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland established a special conciliation board to solve the municipal sector’s deadlock.

– Postponing the strike is proof of the fact that the National Conciliator regards the work done by JHL members as societally very significant. Our members keep Finland rolling. Without their work, the entire society would stop, JHL’s president Päivi Niemi-Laine analyses the situation.

– The situation is extremely challenging and there does not seem to be any easy way to reach an agreement. JHL wants a pay regime and pay raises in euros for the entire municipal sector. We are ready to seek agreement, but we will not settle for the solutions offered thus far. We defend our objectives, also with industrial action measures, because it seems like a solution is not otherwise found, Niemi-Laine states.

Previously, JHL has been speeding up the municipal sector’s collective agreement negotiations with two-day strikes in Rovaniemi and Jyväskylä on 23-24 March, in Tampere and Kuopio on 29-30 March and in Oulu and Turku on 6-7 April.

In addition, the negotiations have been supported with bans on overtime and shift swaps. At the beginning of next week, on 18 April, a ban concerning the entire municipal sector will enter into force. The ban will be in place until further notice. Previously, JHL, Jyty and JUKO have organised three week-long bans on overtime and shift swaps in the municipal sector: 7-13 March, 21-27 March and 4-10 April.

Visit this page for information about JHL’s industrial action measures

More information:

President Päivi Niemi-Laine 040 702 4772