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Nursing unions issue strike warning for southern Helsinki

The strike action by the unions SuPer and Tehy will affect home care workers for the period from 6 to 9 September.

SuPer chair Silja Paavola and Tehy chair Millariikka Rytkönen speaking to Yle in April. Image: Silja Viitala / Yle

The nurses' unions Tehy and SuPer have issued a strike warning for home care workers in the southern Helsinki region for 6-9 September.

While the action is ongoing, the unions will also issue a recruitment ban as well as a suspension of transfers to the strike area. This means that members of either union cannot apply for or accept a job in the area, or work there under the terms of a temporary transfer.

The bans are effective immediately, the unions said, and will remain in force until after the strike action.

The unions issued a strike warning on Friday for the Hospital District of Southwest Finland, which is set to begin on 6 September at Turku University Hospital (Tyks), impacting surgery and intensive care units.

This followed an announcement by the unions on Thursday that they were planning to stage a walkout at Kanta-Häme Central Hospital in early September.

Also on Friday, Finland's National Conciliator invited Tehy and SuPer to a meeting next Sunday in an effort to reach a resolution ahead of the freshly-announced strike plans.

Unions demand better pay, conditions

The unions have demanded a five-year salary programme in connection with salary increases, which would boost salaries by 3.6 percent every year for five years on top of the general pay rises.

In addition, they have argued that the shortage of workers in the sector is severe and the issue desperately needs to be solved.

"The shortage of nurses cannot be solved by fancy speeches and coloured lights, but by improving wages and working conditions. It is about Finland's security of supply and the future of the entire social security sector and early childhood education, and these solutions require money," SuPer chair Silja Paavola and Tehy boss Millariikka Rytkönen said in a joint statement.

In an effort to keep up pressure on the state, Tehy and SuPer said in June that they would continue their campaign for pay increases after the summer break, while preparing for a campaign of mass resignations.

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