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All Points North Podcast #5: Daycare pay cartel, battling loneliness, in search of public saunas

This week APN looks at a contentious debate over hiring daycare teachers, the issue of loneliness in Finland, how to find a public sauna and more. Our special guest is media personality Ruben Stiller.

Audio: Yle News

Our fifth episode of All Points North features Ruben Stiller, outspoken media personality and former host of the Yle current affairs programme Pressiklubi.

In addition this week, an increasingly vocal debate over hiring daycare teachers. In one of the week's big stories, the teachers' union, the OAJ, was up in arms when Yle reported that three big municipalities in the capital region - Helsinki, Espoo, and Vantaa - had a gentleman's agreement on how to approach recruiting daycare teachers. Daycare teachers are now pressing for change, including more pay.

Loneliness is not a mental disorder, but an emotion. But, like most negative emotions, loneliness can lead to bigger problems if not properly properly addressed. The topic of loneliness has been studied quite carefully in Finland. Research from THL, the National Institute for Health and Welfare, shows that people who are socially isolated run nearly twice the normal risk of premature death. People who describe themselves as lonely also commonly smoke more, drink excessively and are more depressed. Mark B. Odom talks with Finnish Association for Mental Health's Project Coordinator Johannes Parkkonen about how loneliness affects people and the difference between loneliness and being alone. APN extra: Resources to meet new people in Finland

Other topics we recap include how a social services labour dispute and planned university strike were settled, how veteran politician Paavo Väyrynen continues to make waves in two parties, human rights activists calling for closer scrutiny of religious groups, and the bankruptcy of a company with a history of environmental and financial ruin.

And, our listener question this week gives us a chance to point you in the direction of one of the most iconic of Finnish institutions, a public sauna.

If you would like to pose a question or share something on your mind just contact us via WhatsApp on +358 44 421 0909, on our Facebook page or Twitter account, or at

This week's podcast was presented by Mark B. Odom and Denise Wall with guest Ruben Stiller. Reporters were Denise Wall, Lydia Taylerson and Mark B. Odom, our producer was Eddy Hawkins and our sound technician was Marko Vierikko.

The All Points North podcast is a weekly look at what's going on in Finland. Subscribe via iTunes (and leave a review!), listen on Spotify and Yle Areena or find it on your favourite podcatching app or via our RSS feed.

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