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Finland's police begin talks aimed at cutting up to 250 staff

The announcement comes after the government decided to reduce the police's budget allocation for next year.

Poliisin virkamerkki
The government's draft budget for 2020 has allocated about 807.9 million to the police, compared to 838 million allocated this year, the police's press release noted. Image: Timo Nykyri / Yle

Finland's police force will begin codetermination negotiations with staff representatives aimed at reducing personnel numbers by between 200 and 250 person-years.

Person-years is a human resources (HR) unit of measurement that calculates the amount of work carried out by one member of staff throughout the entire year, expressed in the number of hours. The police are therefore looking to make savings equivalent to the cost of employing between 200 and 250 people.

In a statement released to the media on Monday afternoon, police chief Seppo Kolehmainen cited the government's decision to reduce the force's budget allocation next year as the reason behind the beginning of co-determination talks.

He also said that the number of study spots available at the police training college would likely be reduced.

"The police's biggest cost item, staff numbers, must be adjusted to the level set by the budget, so that the number of police cadets can be planned for the long term," Kolehmainen said. "The effects of the reduction in training places will not be visible until three years from now, so police officers will probably be made unemployed next year."

The government's draft budget for 2022 has allocated about 807.9 million to the police, compared to 838 million allocated this year, the police's press release noted.

Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo (Green) previously spoke about the possibility of police co-determination talks and subsequent staff reductions during a parliamentary session on 16 September.

"The police are currently making adjustment plans. They will be reviewed later and it is hoped that there will not be a need to lay off a large number of staff. I say a lot because there is a risk that this money will not be enough because it will go to many other things. I want to be open and honest here," Ohisalo said at the time.

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