Polling on nurses' labor dispute

According to a poll published by Nelonen (fi), half of respondents considered the Union of Health and Social Care Professionals' (Tehy) demand of a 24 percent wage increase to be too high, whereas 39 percent of respondents considered it to be appropriate. On the other hand, according to a poll published by Yle (fi), 61 percent approve of the nurses' industrial action in this situation and only 25 percent disapprove. What the polls had in common was that older people were less likely to view Tehy's demands and methods positively than younger ones. There were no significant differences between men and women.

I wonder how the numbers would change if instead of talking about industrial action, the poll would have specifically asked about the mass resignations. Conversely, it's possible that a higher percentage of respondents would have approved of the wage demands if they had been given in euros, as the Tehy representative quoted in the linked article suggests.


Anonymous said...

I read about this or similar study early this morning or late last night, and I distinctly remember that women were found to be considerably less supportive of Tehy's demands than men. There was a comment from Laitinen-Pesola or someone else who speculated that this is because low-wage women disapproved of such a big pay hike for just one sector. I think it was in Nelonen's Teksti-TV.

Did someone misinterpret the study, or did I dream this?

egan said...

It's fascinating to see how this issue has played out. I'm presuming that litigation is not an option for Tehy? Given the rhetoric about 'female dominated sectors', it would appear that woman have been historically discriminated against in Finland. In Britain women workers have brought litigation against employers comparing their education, duties and responsibilities to similar 'male dominated sectors' and proving discrimination that way.

The back pay is massive, and many of the women have ended up sueing their own unions for failing to secure the best deal (in order to protect the pay and conditions for male colleagues).

Ari said...

Anonymous, I suspect you read about the Nelonen poll. 52 percent of women and 48 percent of men thought the demands were too high. Some media reports have highlighted the difference, but I'm pretty sure it's well within the margin of error for the sub-samples and thus not particularly significant.

Egan, here's a Helsingin Sanomat article with some statistics on the state of pay (in)equality in Finland. I don't know whether litigation is an option, but I imagine that it would have been tried already if there was a good chance of success.