News / 12.03.2015

UJF targets for the new government programme for 2015-2019

The UJF has set out the policy goals it would like to see included in the programme of the next government, following parliamentary elections in April.

The new government programme will outline policy for the period 2015-2019. During the pre-election period, a wide range of organisations in the country present the policy objectives they would like to see the government include in its programme.

The UFJ holds that every citizen is entitled to access reliable and wide-ranging journalism. For this to happen, the media’s operating environment must be improved.  See more

The union calls for the protection of journalists’ sources to be taken into account when government prepares new legislation.

It also stresses that Finland’s position as the top country in terms of freedom of expression means that the country should be actively involved in promoting it elsewhere in the world.

The union points out that the issue of freedom of expression will be highlighted in 2016 with the 250th anniversary of the introduction of the world’s first freedom of information law in what was then Finland-Sweden.

The union says that over 1 000 jobs in journalism, about 10 per cent of the total, were lost in the last five years. This has impacted deleteriously on the multiplicity of domestic media content.

VAT on subscription papers and magazines should be reduced lowest possible level of five per cent.

Similarly, Finland must be active in the EU to ensure that VAT on digital content produced by journalists is similarly decreased. The union also hopes that commercial media will not be burdened by additional restrictions on telephone sales and advertising.

The union calls for the operation and financing of the Finnish Broadcasting Company, Yle, to be put on a long-term basis, beyond political and economic cycles.

The union also calls for improving the status of vulnerable media workers, such as people in short-term and temporary employment. It says that contracts containing minimum or average working hours must replace the use of zero-hour contracts.

Legislation must ensure that temporary workers have the same minimum employment conditions and pay scale as fulltime employees in the enterprise hiring them.

The union calls on the incoming government to clarify the boundary between employment and entrepreneurship to ease the situation of the self-employed.

The union says that the previous government carried out numerous inquiries about the problems associated with new forms of employment but without changing the situation.

Earnings-related unemployment benefit must also be allowed to accrue for concurrent employment and freelance commissions. Self-employed media workers must be able to negotiate the terms and conditions of their employment.

The union also calls for authors of creative work to be entitled by new legislation to fair working conditions and remuneration.

On media training and education, the union points out that though media jobs are continually being cut, new journalists are constantly being trained. College and university enrolments must be better aligned to the employment situation. 

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