News / 18.12.2017

President’s letter to UJF members

Dear UJF member Many thanks for all the communications we’ve received during the course of the collective bargaining talks this autumn. You stayed the course and told us your what you thought. Our negotiators heard your messages. This autumn showed that the employers stick to the script set by their umbrella organization, the Confederation of Finnish Industries. No going beyond the pay ceiling. There had to be agreement on sharing local pay instalments. And working hours would have to be lengthened for everyone. The employers’ aim was to reduce collective agreements to the minimum standards set by law. This front line was heavily contested. Pay increases remained within the union’s contractual areas, in line with Finland’s general policy. With the press and the Finnish Broadcasting Company (Yle), we sought to maximize the overall pay increase, meaning the portion of pay increases disbursed to all. With publishing editors, we aimed to increase the lowest salaries in addition to the overall pay increase. When you take into account the employers’ ever-tighter salary cap, we succeeded in this relatively well. The increase to working hours had its own special place in the talks. The press employers proposed ending the winter holiday. In Yle there were about a dozen proposals for extending working hours. The winter holiday was also in the balance for publishing editors. Leave was not cut for press and publishing editors. This was to a great extent thanks to you. The message we got from you was loud and clear on the point that leave must not be reduced. The employers also got this message. But they were serious about it, and agreed cuts to staff employees’ leave. At Yle extensions to working hours were largely prevented. However, the employer wanted to tackle practices on meal and working time coordination. Instead of imposing strictures, we agreed to negotiate on the matter locally. Negotiations will take place early in the New Year.   The extension of working time related to the Competitiveness Pact will continue in all collective agreement areas. Employers stuck firmly to this issue throughout the country. The extra ComPa hours have not been done away with at any other collective bargaining talks. The will be examined again after two years. By making use of local agreements, employers mean that they can decide matters alone. This attitude must change if the local agreement is to be developed. Employers also attach importance to different ways of prolonging working hours. In our sector they particularly have their eyes on our holidays, and in all likelihood in two years time we’ll be having the same discussion about cuts to holidays. We need to be well prepared for this. Negotiations concerning AV translation agencies are still on-going.  We’ve hit a dead-end in talks with film and TV production companies, and at present we are in negotiations with the office of the National Conciliator. You can find further information about the negotiations on the UJF website, which will carry updates on the situation with the negotiations. The round collective bargaining talks is always a major effort, both for employees at the UJF office and for everyone who takes part in them as their workplace representatives. My sincere thanks to them all. A warm thank you too to every one of you for your support. There was always a feeling at the negotiations of being there together with you. We weren’t in it alone. Have a very happy Christmas and New Year Hanne Aho president Union of Journalists in Finland

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