Meeting at the beginning of December, the UJF council approved the outcomes of five of the collective bargaining agreements negotiated this autumn and now finalised.
A further four are on the way, awaiting the conclusion of negotiations. One of the agreements is mired in a dispute over pay arrangements.
In total the nine agreements cover all aspects of the media profession subject to collective bargaining.
The five agreements concluded so far cover the press, programme employees at Yle the Finnish Broadcasting Company, freelancers working for Yle, publishing editors, and Mediahub, the production company that produced news content for the commercial MTV.
Press: Under the new agreement, pay will be increased twice, The agreement of the Media Association of the employer has also been approved by the administration, so the new terms and conditions of employment are in force since 1.12.2017. The contract period will continue until 31 January 2020.
During the contract period, wages will be increased twice, from 1 February 2018 to 1 April 2019 and then until the end of January 2020. The first increase of 1.6% consists of a general increase of 1.1% and a 0.5% company-specific instalment. The second increase is 1.8%.
Changes to the agreement relate to reappointment of employees and travel expenses.
There will be no change to annual leave or winter holiday entitlement. The annual extension of working hours by 24 hours of the government’s Competitiveness Pact will continue.
Finnmedia, representing the employers, accepted the new collective agreement and it came into effect 1 December.
Yle – the Finnish Broadcasting Company: Pay will be increased by 1.2% at the beginning of 2018. In 2019, increases will be agreed locally. If no local agreement can be reached, at the beginning of the year wages will increase by 1.5% and a local instalment of 0.5%.
At the negotiations, the UJF focused in particular on changes to the collective agreement concerning coordinating working time and free time. A second key area was the improvement of the status of fixed-term and part-time employees. The employer sought amendments aimed at making working hours more flexible, and to remove allowances and types of compensation.
Amendments to the agreement cover such things as working hours, training, the use of external labour, and occupational healthcare.
The UJF council also approved the collective agreement for freelancers working for Yle. The terms of the contract period, as well as the dates and cost effects of salary increases are the same as in the new collective bargaining scheme for programme workers.
Paltas, the organisation representing the employer, has yet to announce whether it has approved the amended agreements.
Mediahub: The pay settlement will be negotiated and agreed locally. However, if local agreement is not reached, wages will be raised by the end of 2019 at a general rate of 1.4%. Changes to the pervious collective agreement relate to working hours and training.
Palta, for the employer, has yet to approve the outcome of the negotiations.
Publishing editors: the UJF and Finnmedia, representing the employer, agreed that pay would be increased twice during the contract period. On 1February 2018 is a general increase in individual pay by a 0,3% company-specific instalment, and 1,4% in minimum pay. From 1 May 2019 pay will be increased by 1.1%, with a 0,7% company-specific instalment and a 1.4% increase in minimum pay.
Leave entitlement will remain unchanged. The 24-hour annual extension of working hours agreed upon last year under the government’s Competitiveness Pact will continue.
Finnmedia has accepted the terms of the collective agreement, meaning that it took effect from 1 December. It will run until the end of January 2020.
Four collective agreements are still pending. One of them is now the focus of an industrial dispute.
This concerns film and TV production companies that the UJF announced are now subject to an overtime ban and for which notification of a strike warning has been left with the National Conciliator.
The previous collective agreement expired at the end of October and there has been no agreement on the new one. The dispute relates to the means of arranging pay agreements locally – a difficult procedure as there is a shop steward at only one of the companies concerned.
If local agreements are not reached, the employers will fix a general pay increase of 0,6%, which is about a third less than according to general labour market policy. Unless agreement is reached, employees will go on a one-day strike on 15 December.
The three other areas in which collective agreements are due are the Mediaring staffing agency for cinematographic and TV productions, Sanoma radio stations, whose working conditions will soon be negotiated on the basis of a press collective agreement, and AV Translators, whose collective agreement expires 31 December.