In the collective bargaining round PAM is looking for a living wage and proper working hours
Clear wage rises and possible longer-term wage programmes, and overhaul of pay systems and working hours that you can live from. These are the aims of Service Union United PAM for the collective bargaining round. This would create the conditions where employees could work their entire career in the sectors. PAM will start the spring’s negotiating marathon on Thursday. Over the spring the union will negotiate working conditions for over 400,000 employees.
Together with the membership, PAM has set out its objectives for the collective agreement negotiations. Members were interviewed at workplaces, resulting in around 26,000 responses related to the objectives.
”Service sector employees were concerned about their incomes and experienced problems reconciling work and life. The priorities of thousands of service sector workers are a good starting point for the negotiations”, believes PAM President Annika Rönni-Sällinen.
The upcoming bargaining round is a normal union round.
”This means that PAM will agree the best working conditions for the sectors with the employers’ associations based on the sectors’ own starting points”, Rönni-Sällinen points out.
According to PAM’s recently published service sector image barometer, the vast majority of Finns appreciate service sectors and the people who work in them. However, fewer people than before think that PAM sectors are attractive to young people.
”Companies and employers’ associations must be concerned about this. Fortunately now is the time to improve these impressions with the start of the collective agreement negotiations”, Annika Rönni-Sällinen says.
PAM thinks that in order to succeed and develop, service sector companies need workers who are able to plan an entire working career in the sector. The first condition for this is a living wage.
”This means clear wage rises and possibly longer-term wage programmes, an overhaul of pay systems and for those with careers in the sector enough working hours to live on.”
Working hours in service sectors in Finland vary wildly. For employees, control over their lives and their ability to cope are put to the test as they adapt to their employer’s and customers’ needs. This is a situation that doesn’t encourage people to stay in the sectors.
”Our starting point is that flexibility has to work the other way too. Working hours also have to be flexible based on employees’ needs. Employees must be guaranteed working hours that allow them to cope at different stages of life.”
PAM thinks it is obvious that the hours worked for free under the competitiveness pact have to go. In the various PAM collective agreements these hours were agreed in different ways, from separate protocols to hours inserted into working time systems. Therefore the solutions to this will be different.
Rönni-Sällinen points out that for PAM there are also things that are not up for agreement.
”Curtailing the right to strike or ending collection of union membership fees by employers are examples of these. In our view bringing these to the negotiating table would indicate that the employers are not in this to agree working conditions and take the sectors forward”, Rönni-Sällinen states.
Over the spring PAM will negotiate working conditions for over 400,000 employees
As collective agreements are generally binding, PAM will be agreeing the working conditions of over 400,000 people during the spring. At the end of January collective agreements run out for the retail sector, Alko store employees, facility service sector employees, golf, Finnish National Opera and Ballet technical employees and Veikkaus employees.
At the end of February many agreements negotiated with Palta run out: the customer service and telemarketing sector, bingo, cinemas, the printing sector, household appliances, equipment and service machine servicing, photofinishing labs and removal services collective agreements.
At the end of March the agreements for the hotel, restaurant and leisure industry and the amusement, theme and adventure parks, the pharmacy employees’ agreement, the Avecra train service staff agreement and the Finnish Theatre technical and supervisory agreement. At the end of April the private security sector collective agreement runs out.