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Wednesday's papers: Cash on way out, Posti worker tells all, dismissed teacher reinstated

Dailies look at youth payment preferences, Posti revelations, and the court appeal of a teacher who restrained a pupil.

S-Pankin mobiili-liittymä
The S Bank's mobile payment app Image: Ismo Pekkarinen / AOP

Only four percent of Finnish adults under the age of 35 use cash anymore, according to a new poll highlighted in Helsingin Uutiset. The OP Bank online poll found that over 72 percent of 600 respondents said they already use mobile payment services regularly, with 61 percent preferring to use contactless payment in shops.

The young adults say they value mobile payment for its ease, speed and safety. Thirty-six percent of respondents say they hope the services will be developed to automatically deduct student discounts, for example, while 23 percent of respondents wished all of the many mobile payment options could be consolidated in one app. Seventeen percent were open to idea of using biometric identification methods, like facial or fingerprint recognition, in the future.

Overworked and underpaid at Posti

The tabloid Iltalehti talks with Tuula, a veteran worker for the national postal service Posti, who says she was "relieved" to be laid off along with 93 other employees this year. The former distribution supervisor, who wished to remain anonymous, told IL that the "last five years were hell", as the staff was severely overworked. If a customer called to complain about undelivered mail, she said management had instructed the workers to lie and say it was due to the weather or transport difficulties.

"We couldn't tell them it was because we were under-resourced. We had to come up with some other reason," she tells the paper.

Tuula tells IL that all of the basic letter delivery work now requires employees to work overtime to meet what she says are unreasonable targets. Some workers have refused to do it, which explains why some of the mail goes undelivered day-to-day. Many of those who stay on to finish their routes end up on sick leave, Tuula reports, and are replaced by hourly temp workers.

"For several years now, Posti has created this illusion of a dynamic company, ready for change, but each organisational restructuring has led to a new round of layoffs and tremendous chaos," she said.

State-owned Posti has been frequently in the news over the last few years for axing staff and cutting back on mail delivery. Recent news of the Posti CEO's near million-euro annual salary in the midst of planned 30-50 percent pay cuts for 700 package sorters – who already earn just 2,200 euros monthly – saw ministers step in to promise changes.

Court determines teacher wrongly dismissed

Daily Helsingin Sanomat reports on a teacher in the southern city of Kerava who was let go by city officials in 2017 after repeatedly restraining a second-year child who was acting violently and hitting another pupil. The paper reports that an administrative court rejected the termination of the special education teacher, and ruled that she be reinstated.

The court found that the teacher's conduct, in which she pinned the thrashing eight-year-old to the ground and restrained the child's hands, "was not so reprehensible as to constitute a breach of public service" that would have justified immediate dismissal, HS writes. The court ruled that the school board and the city should have followed the procedure set out in laws on civil service, and first given the teacher warnings and a chance to change her behaviour.

The court decision now requires the city of Kerava to pay the appellant's court fees of 12,000 euros. Municipal administrators will now decide whether to appeal the case to the Supreme Administrative Court, the paper writes.

FSA rejects CEO candidate

And HS also reports this Wednesday on an "uncommon" decision from the Financial Supervisory Authority: the rejection of the appointment of Juha Koponen to head the LähiTapiola finance group.

The authority ruled that the candidate was not qualified for the position in the country's second largest accident insurance and fourth largest life insurance company, as he did not have enough prior experience in the insurance sector. It said its decision was prompted by a concern for the best interest of the firm's policyholders.

53-year-old Koponen was in the running to replace LähiTapiola's current CEO Erkki Moisander at the start of 2020, when Moisander is to retire.

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