During the customary question-and-answer session on the second day of the UJF spring Council meeting, 24 May, the union’s leadership was asked about preventing harassment and inappropriate behaviour in the workplace, pay equity and promoting equality in the workplace.

Delegates wanted to know what the union intended to do to prevent the continuation of abuse and harassment in the workplace. They expressed the hope that the union would promote a positive working culture in the media sector.

The debate also highlighted the need for members to feel able to report harassment. No one should be afraid of being intimidated if they report it.

Petri Savolainen, Head of Advocacy, said the union has been investigating harassment in the sector.

“Employers have a duty to address harassment and take action. Harassment liaison officers have started to come to workplaces. But a big change is still needed to ensure that harassment is dealt with decisively,” says Savolainen.

The union has published a guide for workplaces on how to deal with harassment. It includes guidelines for supervisors and work communities. Harassment and how to prevent it is also discussed in the union’s training courses for shop stewards.

UJF President Hanne Aho said that everyone must be able to work in peace and safety at their workplace. “The union will discuss this with the employers’ organisation. We want to go through what has been done and is being done in the workplace to prevent harassment”.

Questions were also asked about the union’s approach to promoting pay equity in members’ workplaces and what the union intends to do about it.

Savolainen said that the union had been working on gender equality for years, but that pay equity needed to be improved and that despite progress in the sector, the women’s euro was still not the full amount.

“This can also be seen in a broader framework than the traditional ‘men-women’ context – for example, temporary versus permanent or freelance.”

Savolainen was sceptical about progress on pay transparency in the near future.

“This is due to the timetable for the national implementation of the EU Pay Transparency Directive, which has a deadline of June 2026. The government’s programme states that it will promote pay transparency in line with the minimum requirements of the EU directive.”

Delegates also asked whether the union could encourage employers to fulfil their obligations under the Equality Act to promote equality in the workplace. Savolainen said that the union encourages members to contact the equality ombudsman or the union. In some workplaces it has taken an unacceptably long time to draw up equality plans.