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Collective agreement negotiations for universities on 2023 pay reviews are about to break down

The collective agreement negotiations for universities are about to break down. The reason for this is that the employer representatives have no desire to negotiate.

The collective agreement negotiations for universities on 2023 pay reviews ended on Friday 10 February because of FEE’s lack of desire to negotiate (FEE = Finnish Education Employers). According to FEE, there were no prerequisites to agree on new negotiation appointments.

According to Trade Union JHL, FEE has not respected established negotiation methods during the negotiation process. It has also refused to submit a written negotiation proposal.

Employee organisations JUKO, Pro and JHL have presented their written goals in the first negotiations. Pay raises that improve purchasing power are a key goal. The raises must exceed the predicted level of inflation. The local arrangement instalment can, if necessary, take into account university-specific conditions.

 During the entire negotiation process, the employees have been ready for open discussion and negotiation. Thus far, FEE’s actions at the negotiation table have instead been confusing and in contrast to the negotiation culture that has established its position during the course of over 10 years, Senior Bargaining Specialist Reetta Kuosmanen explains.

 When the negotiations started in January, the situation in the labour market was very unclear. For that reason, it’s been difficult to draft concrete proposals. However, in February there have been signs that the situation is getting clearer. If there is a desire to act, the prerequisites for concrete pay negotiations are good.

At least thus far, FEE has felt that the pay settlements that have been reached have been too expensive for universities. According to analyses made by the employee party, the universities have sufficient finances for solutions that safeguard the personnel’s purchasing power.

During the coronavirus pandemic, university employees have done creditable work in safeguarding universities’ operating conditions. They have also helped the universities and students with overcoming difficult times. The university employees have deserved their pay raises.

 As for continuing the negotiations, the ball is in FEE’s court. The employees are waiting to be called to the negotiation table.

In case no agreement is reached on 2023 salaries by Friday 17 February, the valid collective agreement will have to be terminated. In such a case, full negotiations on a new collective agreement will be started for the period after 31 March 2023.

More information:

Senior Bargaining Specialist, Team Leader Reetta Kuosmanen, 050 461 9301