Over the next four years, the UJF aims to safeguard the media’s operational conditions, strengthen the collective bargaining-based labour market and safeguard the negotiating mandate by developing union unity.
These priorities are set out in the UJF’s action and finance programme for 2023-2026, adopted 1 December by the UJF Council.
Quality media protects against falsehood
A functional media is an essential part of Finland’s security of supply. Reliable journalism and quality educational materials are the best antidote to disinformation. Without an independent, thriving media, there is no equal rule of law and no civil liberties. The media plays its part in ensuring Finland’s survival and success in a changing and sometimes unpredictable world.
The UJF wants to improve the media sector’s operating conditions, including by advocating a cut in VAT for newspapers and books and the introduction of a Nordic-style media subsidy system in Finland.
Appreciation must be reflected in pay
Collective bargaining agreements are a precondition for a good working life and one element of the success of Finnish society. They bring predictability and guarantee fair competition for employers too. If needed, the UJF is prepared to fight to establish collective agreements.
The UJF wants to reform wage systems to reflect today’s world. As the action and finance programme states: “Our members have the skills, born of education and experience, that are the lifeblood of the industry’s success. This appreciation must be reflected in working conditions and wages.”
The union will seek wage increases and improvements in other terms and conditions of employment in collective agreements to safeguard the growth of purchasing power. It will take care of the interests of its members in atypical and permanent employment, including freelance and self-employed workers. The proportion of self-employed people in the union’s membership is constantly increasing.
Broad membership brings leverage
The plan points out that the bases of the UJF’s leverage are its strong levels of organisation and newsroom branches. “In developing the union, we are focusing on activating newsroom branches. We are particularly concerned about sectors and workplaces with low levels of unionisation,” the plan says.
UJF membership will diversify and expand, and in the process strengthen the union, giving it a stronger mandate to negotiate agreements in the media sector and speak with the voice of the sector.
In the coming years, the UJF will improve recruitment by reaching out to students and new entrants to the industry, as well as freelancers, and by offering them membership. “No one should be excluded from the union because membership has not been offered to them. Membership should be hassle-free,” the plan concludes.