News / 13.10.2015

UJF on government competitiveness package: scope for media jobs will shrink even more

The government has announced a U-turn on its planned cuts of overtime and Sunday bonuses, and will replace them with a 30 per cent cut in holiday pay.

The measures are part of the government’s package of austerity-driven statutory measures intended to stimulate competitiveness in the economy, in part by cutting employee benefits.

Petri Savolainen said that the new measure on cutting holiday bonus would mean that the collective agreement negotiations concerning extending annual leave by a week will be jeopardized.

“The cut in leave will mainly affect the public sector, and only a few areas of the private sector, but for us it will hit the press and Finnish Broadcasting Company,” said Savolainen.

He criticized the new measure for it targeting employees to reduce companies’ costs. This will mean that in the media sector jobs would have to be further cut to bring down costs. The workload will have to be borne by a smaller number of employees.

“The cut in leave would also reduce the scope for fixed term placements – meaning job opportunities.”

The government package also includes further cuts to sick leave.

“This will lead to more people coming to work when sick, and this will have an impact in all sectors.”

Working hours will get longer due to the cancellation of two paid public holidays.

However, the government has amended its proposals a number of times and further changes are expected.

The latest U-turn was Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s announcement that the holiday bonus can be agreed according to current practice in those sectors that are not bound by collective agreements.

Savolainen says that the government climb-down is positive from the perspective of the media sector.

“It’s unlikely that this latest model is the end of the matter. Labour confederations are seeking a broad agreement, and it’s difficult to envisage compulsory statutory measures, even in this newer more limited form.

“A major turning point for the media sector, as with others, will come in autumn next year with the negotiations for new collective agreements.”

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