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OAJ and JHL: Helsinki must immediately hire more payroll administrators to fix the massive salary payment mess, and pay for the damages

The Trade Union of Education in Finland OAJ and Trade Union JHL are demanding the City of Helsinki to fix its salary payment problems and to immediately hire more payroll administrators to solve the salary mess which has lasted for months. In addition to late-payment interests, the employees and office-holders must be paid compensation for the damages incurred.

The City of Helsinki’s salary payment mess has already lasted for months, and it has affected thousands of employees. Some employees have not received their salaries at all, some have received thousands of euros extra, some have not been paid their various increments, and so on. Some employees have had to resort to credits and instant loans to survive. As the mess continues, the city is violating laws and the collective agreement more and more gravely.

– The city’s payroll administrators cannot in any way be blamed for the salary payment mess. They are doing an excellent job under hard pressure to solve the situation, but they cannot perform miracles because of a dysfunctional system. The City of Helsinki must hire more payroll administrators right now in order to get the employees’ outstanding salaries up to date, OAJ president Katarina Murto and JHL president Päivi Niemi-Laine demand.

The Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors JHL and the Trade Union of Education in Finland OAJ are demanding decision makers and software provider Sarastia to take responsibility for the mess.

– Who made the decision to acquire a new pay system, and under which terms? Why was the old system not kept as a back-up to the new one? The consulting company Deloitte participated as well, so how is the current situation possible? What kind of a project was it to transfer to a new pay system, and who was in charge of the transfer – the city or software provider? Who was the project leader? Were there any payroll administrators involved in the project? They are the ones with true expertise in this matter, Niemi-Laine states.

Mayor of Helsinki, Juhana Vartiainen, estimated last week that the salary payment problems will last for months to come.

– Apologies are no longer enough. The city is responsible for paying the salaries in accordance with laws and agreements, correctly and in a timely manner. The decision makers of the city must put employees’ salary payment in order right now. Police reports and control requests have been filed, and the employees are still waiting for their salaries, the presidents sum up.

– The city must put salary payment resources in order instead of blaming the payroll administrators, strikes, coronavirus or unions. Pouring money to consultants is not helpful, when money should be paid to the employees’ accounts correctly. It is already high time for the city to make a decision on remunerating the employees and office-holders with late-payment interests and paying compensation for the damages incurred, Niemi-Laine and Murto demand.

If the payment problems are not fixed without delay, JHL and OAJ will start to prepare tougher measures.

More information:

JHL president Päivi Niemi-Laine, 040 702 4772

OAJ president Katarina Murto, 050 568 9188