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Trade Union JHL: Conciliation board is not a quick fix to the dispute

Ever since a conciliation board was established to solve the municipal sector's labour dispute, it has been expected to give a conciliation proposal quickly. However, a proposal has not been given, and there is little to suggest that such a proposal will be given during the coming days either. What has happened thus far and what is about to happen?

The municipal sector’s labour dispute has now entered its second week of the phase involving the conciliation board. The conciliation board established by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland on 8 April started its work that same weekend.  Already on Easter Sunday 10 April, the board organised hearings with all the dispute parties separately. The purpose was to find out the key sources of dispute and the most important objectives concerning reaching an agreement.

– On Monday 11 April, all the parties to the dispute, the National Conciliator and the conciliation board listened to evaluations of the Ministry of Finance and research institutes on the Finnish economy and its future prospects. We also held shared discussions about the matter, Trade Union JHL’s Bargaining Director Kristian Karrasch explains.

On Tuesday 12 April, the parties to the dispute – JAU (JHL and Jyty), Sote ry and KT – were given homework by the conciliation board. The parties had to gather all the issues that did not concern money (so-called textual issues) in which the parties agree, and the issues in which they disagree.

– We have been gathering this information even throughout the Easter holidays. The list that we have been gathering applies to all of the municipal sector’s collective agreements. We have gone through KVTES, the SOTE agreement, TTES and matters related to TS (the agreement for technical personnel). The conciliation board asked for results by Tuesday 19 April at midnight, Karrasch explains.

During the Easter weekend, the conciliation board Chair also held one-on-one discussions about the situation with the organisation Chairs.

Conciliation board has no deadline for its work

Now, after Easter, the conciliation board continues its work. If necessary, it will give the contracting parties assignments or organise hearings with them. The board has not determined a deadline for its work that would have been revealed to the contracting parties.

– As we predicted, the conciliation board has not been a quick fix to opening the deadlock of the municipal sector and finding a solution. The board must gather various kinds of information before drawing conclusions. We are giving it tools that include the preconditions that must be fulfilled in order for us to accept the conciliation proposal when it comes. This phase has required patience, I can’t deny it, but we must find the keys to the solution before long. JHL dances to the same clear tune as before in terms of its demands: Pay raises and a pay regime to all of the municipal sector’s agreement sectors. Working life quality must be further developed, also in the collective agreement, JHL’s Bargaining Director Kristian Karrasch sums up the current conciliation situation.

More information: JHL’s Bargaining Director Kristian Karrasch, 040 728 9046