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Private social services sector finally has new terms and conditions of employment

A long wait is over in the private social services sector. The sector's new collective agreement has now been approved. As all negotiation parties finally approved the new terms and conditions of employment on Thursday 30 June, a negotiation battle that was fought over four months is over.

At the beginning of September, the sector’s wages will be increased by 2 per cent. In addition, minimum raises (0.8%) will be added to the pay scales. They are targeted to the pay groups’ minimum wages. The agreement’s length is 1+1 years.

–  We finally reached the finish line after over four months of hard work. The ban on overtime and shift swaps declared by JHL speeded up reaching an agreement, Senior Bargaining Specialist Laura Kovalainen and Bargaining Specialist Tanja Tuunainen-Vainio state.

In addition to pay raises, we managed to add several new entries in the collective agreement which benefit the employees. We were also able to add clarifications to previous entries which clarify the interpretation of many matters. Family leave deserves a special mention. We achieved a huge improvement to paid family leave, Kovalainen and Tuunainen-Vainio state.

The most central content of the agreement:

Agreement period

The agreement period is 1+1 years, the agreement is valid from 1 May 2022 to 30 April 2024.

However, the agreement can be terminated to end already on 30 April 2023. This can be done if the 2023 raises have not been agreed on by 15 March 2023.

Pay raises

  • In 2022, there will be a two per cent general pay raise as of 1 September.
  • On 1 September 2022, minimum raises will be added to the pay scales.
  • The pay raises for 2023 must be agreed on by 15 March 2023.

Various compensations will be increased

  • The compensation for urgent work will be increased by 40 per cent.
  • The language proficiency bonus will be increased by 7 per cent.
  • The compensation paid to chief shop stewards and shop stewards will be increased by at least 3.5 per cent.
  • Whole new compensation scales will be introduced for occupational safety and health representatives.

Many textual changes that benefit the employees

The private social services sector’s collective agreement has plenty of so-called textual changes and clarifying application instructions. Most of the changes benefit the employees, including the following:

  • Service increments now determine more exactly what at least is meant by similar work.
  • Even experience accumulated while carrying out work in the same occupational sector which is up to one pay group lower must be taken into account as experience that entitles to a service increment.
  • A new addition has been made to changing the shift roster. A change can only be made for a weighty, unforeseeable reason.
  • Work shifts must be organised as an uninterrupted period with stricter limitations than before.
  • The interruption of a meal break taking place during working hours will enhance the length of the meal break by the time of the interruption, and example dining is not considered to be a meal break.
  • Work shifts are planned in such a way that the employee will get at least two subsequent days off during three weeks, and two two-day (Sat–Sun) weekend-rest periods during six weeks.
  • The annual leave must be granted as an uninterrupted period. Dividing it into several parts would only be possible in very exceptional situations.

In addition, the occupational safety and health representative agreement is now a part of the collective agreement, and it has the same status as the shop steward agreement.

Significant increase in other parent’s paid family leave

The family leave reform will enter into force on 1 August 2022. The private social services sector’s collective agreement now stipulates that the other parent’s paid family leave will be extended significantly. Instead of the previous six paid days meant for fathers, the other parent gets 32 paid weekdays of family leave. In the future, everyone entitled to Kela’s parental allowance will be entitled to paid leave. In addition to 32 days, the parent giving birth will get 40 paid weekdays of pregnancy leave. This amounts to 72 days, and thereby the number of days will remain the same.

Working groups

A working group with the task of rewriting the guide “Terveet ja tulokselliset työajat” (Healthy and productive working hours) and finding out who are entitled to emergency compensation.

The pay review working group, statistics working group and pay agreement reform working group will continue their work as agreed in the protocol of signature dated 5 March 2018.

The well-being at work group’s task is to look into how working life quality, productivity and well-being at work could be improved. It will also look into the functionality of co-determination and occupational safety and health. The working group promotes that workplaces and work communities have enough information and preparedness to draw up local measures for promoting personnel’s well-being at work, supporting their ability to cope at work and lengthening careers. Specific themes are travel time, the principles of remote work, rest breaks (rest areas, speedy eating during working hours).

A working group will look into protective clothing that was mentioned in section 25 of the collective agreement.

In addition to Trade Union JHL, the employees are represented by health and social services sector’s negotiation organisation Sote ry, Talentia, and social services sector alliance Salli ry. The employer is represented by the Finnish Association of Private Care Providers.

The sector’s professionals work in, say, private day care centres, assisted living, and nursing homes. Over 70,000 employees work in the sector.

More information:
Senior Bargaining Specialist Laura Kovalainen 050 408 2730
Bargaining Specialist Tanja Tuunainen-Vainio 050 463 2243