The Union of Health and Social Care Professionals, Tehy, is demanding a pay hike of 400 to 600 euros more a month over the next two-and-a-half years for municipal employees. The union says that if an agreement is not reached by October 15th, they will give an official warning of impending mass resignations from university and public hospitals.
In addition to the lump sum raise, Tehy wants increases targeted at some specific jobs as well as in the overall minimum wage. This package of additional raises would total 15 percent, and according to Tehy, would correct longstanding pay shortages in certain areas.
The union says that healthcare professionals' wages in Finland are only 80 percent of OECD average. According to their calculations, their proposed pay raises would bring the minimum monthly salary of a nurse to 2,190 euros. Ambulance workers and paediatric nurses would earn 1,990 euros.
Tehy's chairwoman Jaana Laitinen-Pesola says the union has had to resort to the extreme threat of mass resignations in order to secure the future of healthcare services and qualified personnel.
Next week, Tehy will announce when the protest resignations might take place, as well as a list of employees ready to hand in their notice.