All over but for the spin

Helsingin Sanomat explains why the Commission for Local Authority Employers (KT) and the Union of Health and Social Care Professionals (Tehy) disagree on how large the agreed-upon wage increases are:

A large part of the differences in interpretation stem from the fact that Tehy assumes that overall pay hikes of 4-6 per cent will be implemented in the municipal sector in 2010-2011. The municipal employers make no such assumptions for the last two years of the contract period, as the general contract in the municipal sector ends at the end of January 2010.

The actual size of pay increases at that time will not be known until 2010-2011, but it is expected that Tehy members will see their pay rise by more than 20 per cent in the next four years.

I find it interesting how well the lengthy contract period has served to cloud comparisons between this agreement on one hand, and rival trade unions' contracts or Tehy's demands on the other. A 22 percent pay hike - to pick a number - in four years obviously isn't anywhere near a 24 percent raise in two and a half years, but that fact doesn't come across in many news stories.

The scope of the agreement has also caused disagreement. The contract is supposed to apply to only Tehy members, but experts disagree (fi) on whether this is legal. Law mavens may want to check out the Employment Contracts Act (PDF), which states among other things that employers "shall not exercise any unjustified discrimination against employees on the basis of ... trade union activity ... or any other comparable circumstance" and that they must "treat employees equally unless there is an acceptable cause for derogation deriving from the duties and position of the employees."

No comments: