The executive bodies of JHL and the Heta union have approved the collective agreement negotiation result for personal assistants. The new collective agreement is valid from 1 October 2023 to 30 April 2025.
Personal assistants’ collective agreement negotiations began in January and reached an end a few weeks ago. The sector underwent a period without agreement which lasted five months.
It was necessary to take various organisational measures to speed up the negotiations. For instance, last spring there were two personal assistant strikes – for the first time ever.
Bargaining specialists Laura Tuominen and Hanna Katajamäki represented JHL in the negotiations. They are happy with the final agreement.
The goal was to level out the imbalance of the sector’s terms and conditions of employment and pay level in relation to the rest of the social welfare and health care sector. Furthermore, there was a desire to develop the pay system further so that it would better correspond to the demands of the job and to the needs of the Disability Services Act that is currently being reformed.
– The so-called general labour market policy could not be considered a starting point for the negotiations. It would have limited the level of the pay raises and the cost impact of the collective agreement solution as a whole, Tuominen describes.
– An important goal was also to raise the issue of workforce availability in the sector that’s riddled with labour shortage, as well as the issue of the sector’s ability to attract new employees and hold on to the old ones, Katajamäki continues.
The raises in a nutshell
A compensation instalment of EUR 400 will compensate the delayed pay raises having to do with the slow round of negotiations. The instalment will be paid on 15 December 2023 under the following terms and conditions:
- uninterrupted employment relationship has started at the latest on 1 November 2023
- the employee must be within the salary payment system on payment day
- part-time employees are paid in relation to the agreed and full working time
- for those with varying working hours, a mean will be calculated for a three-month review period (1 August 2023–31 October 2023)
1 January 2024 raise of hourly pay
- Pay group A €0.45 (3,98%)
- Pay group B1 €0.20, B2 €0.45 (a total of 5.18%) – Partially new pay group!
- Pay group C €0.85 (6.77%) – New pay group!
1 July 2024 raise of hourly pay
- Pay group A €0.75 (6.29%)
- Pay group B1 €0.30, B2 €0.55 (a total of 6.53%)
- Pay group C €0.65 (4.79%)
Record-long negotiations paid off
Especially the compensation concerning long work shifts was a compromise that required a partial conciliation proposal by Conciliator Markku Saarikoski.
According to JHL’s negotiators, the union’s goals were realised well in their entirety, although the negotiation process was prolonged. The new pay grouping extending from a two-tier to a four-tier grouping and the new compensation concerning long shifts are both in line with JHL’s goals, although we must continue to further develop them in the future.
New agreement brings improvements
The terms and conditions of employment will also be improved in many other areas of the agreement. During the agreement period, two missing paid mid-week holidays will be added in the collective agreement: Epiphany and Ascension Day.
The pay settlement exceeds the general labour market policy and the municipal sector’s pay settlement. The changes made to the criteria for granting experience increment mean that also the assistants with few working hours will be entitled to the increment.
The negotiation round was shadowed by the completion of Prime Minister Petteri Orpo’s Government Programme. The Government Programme’s goal about the first sick day being unpaid would have directly affected assistants working under the employer model, because the previous Heta agreement had no entries on sick pay.
JHL managed to add an entry in the agreement that was now signed on personal assistants’ right to pay during their first sick day, even if legislation is changed as planned.
– This is an important and ensuring entry, JHL’s agreement negotiators state, pleased.
The new collective agreement will soon be published on our website.
Laura Tuominen, JHL’s bargaining specialist, 050 4092 460
Hanna Katajamäki, JHL’s bargaining specialist, 050 5137 701
Wellbeing services counties are in charge of organising personal assistance. At the moment, the employer model is the most common way of organising personal assistance. Over 20,000 personal assistants are already employed under it. The collective agreement Heta is applied to the employer model for personal assistance, i.e. to employment relationships where the disabled person themself or their representative acts the assistant’s employer and is a member of the Heta union. An estimated number of 7,000 assistants at the least are covered by the collective agreement. Approximately 3,000 of them are JHL members.
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