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Collective agreement negotiations for personal assistants have started – during the spring, negotiation themes will be pay, working conditions and appreciation

JHL and Heta (Union of the Employers of Personal Assistants in Finland) have started to negotiate on the sector's new collective agreement. The current agreement is valid until the end of April.

The first negotiation meeting took place on 27 January. Schedules were on that meeting’s agenda. Negotiations that have the aim of reaching an agreement will start during February.

The signatory parties of personal assistants’ collective agreement (Heta-tes) are JHL and Heta (the Union of the Employers of Personal Assistants in Finland). The collective agreement concerns the employer model of personal assistance, in which the person with disabilities or their representative acts as the assistant’s employer.

JHL’s Heta negotiators are Bargaining Specialists Laura Tuominen and Hanna Katajamäki.

– During the spring, we will not only be looking for solutions to pay raises, but also to other important aspects related to the sector’s terms and conditions of employment, the negotiators explain.

One significant goal for JHL is to increase the appreciation for personal assistance work.

–The demands of the work must be taken into account more.  The significance of personal assistance work, and the appreciation for it, must be increased to the level it deserves, Laura Tuominen emphasises at the start of the negotiations.

– The realisation of these goals means that the shortage of labour in the sector will be eased. It will also ensure the continuous commitment of employees, Hanna Katajamäki continues.

The sector’s work must get the appreciation it deserves!

According to the negotiators, the disability sector’s actors often bring up specific problems related to personal assistance availability, although assistance is a subjective right of the users. The shortage of assistants causes problems to users with, say, managing their daily lives, social lives, and also personal hygiene.

– Personal assistants regard their work as meaningful. It’s very important to promote their terms and conditions of employment, and working conditions, in order to make it possible to work in the sector, Tuominen emphasises.

More information:
Laura Tuominen, JHL’s bargaining specialist, 050 4092 460
Hanna Katajamäki, JHL’s bargaining specialist, 050 513 7701