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Municipal sector overtime ban to affect daycare, health services

Municipal sector workers want a total of 300 million euros to offset cuts to holiday pay agreed in the government's competitiveness pact.

Kuntatyönantajien työmarkkinajohtaja Markku Jalonen ja OAJ:n puheenjohtaja Olli Luukkainen kunta-alan virka- ja työehtosopimusneuvotteluissa Helsingissä maanantaina 29. tammikuuta.
KT labour market director Markku Jalonen and teachers' union OAJ president Olli Luukkainen at the talks. Image: Emmi Korhonen / Lehtikuva

Last week employer and employee representatives failed to find common ground on measures to offset cuts to holiday bonuses. The Local Government Employers lobby group KT declared that it would not accept the employees' demand for a compensatory measure to make up for reduced holiday pay because the cuts were agreed in Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s labour market competitiveness pact in 2016.

On Sunday, the labour unions announced their demand for some 150 million euros in 2018 and 2019 to offset the cuts to holiday bonuses. The 300-million-euro sum represents roughly two percent of all municipal sector pay, a sum that KT charged was disproportionate.

The employee representatives called for a ban on overtime work and shift swaps on Tuesday following the breakdown in talks. The industrial action is expected to affect a number of municipal services, including daycare and health.

Sipilä: We’re not involved

Sipilä said that he had not been involved in the discussions but noted that he was staying abreast of the situation. However he stressed that the onus of resolving the impasse lies with the disputing sides.

”By no means will we get involved in these talks. The solution should come from the desk of employers and employees,” the PM declared.

The premier noted that it is clear that no compensation for the cuts to holiday bonuses would be forthcoming from state coffers.

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