A new week-long strike that applies to the Heta-tes agreement that concerns the employer model for personal assistance started on Tuesday. No negotiation solution was reached in the labour dispute because the Union of the Employers of Personal Assistants in Finland (Heta) cancelled Monday evening’s negotiation meeting.
The nationwide strike that concerns the Heta-tes agreement applying to those who work as personal assistants for persons with disabilities started on Tuesday 6 June at 12.01 am. It will end on Monday evening on 12 June at 11.59 pm, unless a negotiation result is achieved earlier. The strike applies to assistants who work within personal assistance under the employer model, belong to pay group A and comply with the Heta-tes agreement in their work.
Trade Union JHL’s negotiators are sad about the fact that the personal assistants’ strike started on Tuesday.
– The employer union Heta was not ready to negotiate on the previous weekend after the conciliation on Friday, so it’s their fault that the timetable stretched on to the last minute, Bargaining Specialist Laura Tuominen states.
– Heta also did not suggest another negotiation appointment when it cancelled Monday’s negotiation.
JHL is disappointed in the fact that it was not possible to achieve a solution without further extending the labour dispute. According to the union, the keys to the solution have already been in the hands of those involved in the conciliation process.
– There are large employee turnover rates in the sector. This has largely to do with the fact that the terms and conditions of employment, and the level of pay, are lagging behind. A sector that is strongly based on part-time work does not make it possible to commit oneself to the work if one does not earn a living wage. We aim to improve the whole sector’s ability to attract new employees and hold on to the old ones by further improving the terms and conditions of employment, Bargaining Specialist Hanna Katajamäki says.
Personal assistance is one of the key services for persons with disabilities. Wellbeing services counties are in charge of organising personal assistance. Most personal assistance is produced under the employer model instead of wellbeing services counties themselves producing the service. We must get the sector’s pay and other terms and conditions of employment to correspond to a situation where wellbeing services counties themselves would produce the personal assistance services.
This means that the sector’s pay solution should at least comply with the level of the pay solution that was determined last year in wellbeing services counties’ own SOTE agreement, so that the pay development of personal assistants would not lag behind the rest of the social welfare and health care sector.
The pay of personal assistants must take into account the sector’s versatile and demanding duties – assistants may be responsible for demanding care duties such as handing out medicines, wound care, catheterisation, assisting with using a suction device, and duties that are both physically and psychosocially demanding.
The Heta-tes agreement is based on extensive working time flexibility in which the assistant can regularly work very long shifts that can even stretch to several days.
– JHL does not oppose flexible solutions if the employee’s working time protection is realised. However, assistants deserve a fair compensation for being flexible and making assistance users’ daily life and leisure time possible. At the moment, assistants do not in practice have the chance to get for instance overtime compensation, which makes the situation unreasonable for those who do flexiwork, Tuominen reminds.
Bargaining Specialist Laura Tuominen, 050 409 2460
Bargaining Specialist Hanna Katajamäki, 050 513 7701
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