Thursday’s papers: Åland’s security debate, the pay gap for nurses and vaccinations

Thursday's papers: Åland's security debate, the pay gap for nurses and vaccinations

As Finland’s role in the tensions between Russia and Ukraine has been emphasized, several experts have drawn attention to the autonomous island region of Åland, which is Finland’s Swedish-speaking maritime province.

Göran Djupsund, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, told me Helsingin Sanomat states that due to Russia’s recent actions, the strategic importance of the island region, which is mainly located along several key shipping routes in the Baltic Sea, requires a discussion on its security.

Last week, Sweden increased its military presence on the neighboring island of Gotland in response to the appearance of Russian warships in the Baltic Sea.

Although Åland has been demilitarized, which means that there can be no military force on the island, Djupsund points out that historical agreements require Finland to protect it from security threats.

Evening News reports that, according to a decades-old agreement with the Soviet Union, Russia continues to have official control over disarmament and neutrality in the Swedish-speaking region.

The island still has a Russian consulate established to oversee the implementation of the agreement after the Winter War.

In an to interview With Reuters on Wednesday, Prime Minister Sanna Marin stated that he was "really unlikely" that Finland join NATO at any time.

He stressed; however, that the country would stand by the United States and its European allies and impose sanctions on Russia if it attacks Ukraine.

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö discussed the situation with the President of the United States Joe Biden by phone call on Tuesday.

Same job, nurses with different pay

Finnish tabloid Iltalehti is investigating a possible problem at the future Covid-19 emergency hospital in Helsinki. The institution could have nurses who perform the same tasks but work for different employers, which means there can be big differences in their pay gaps.

The City of Helsinki announced earlier this month that it would open an emergency hospital in Herttoniemi for 50 additional beds due to the deteriorating coronavirus situation.

Hospital recruitment has begun, but it includes announcements from three different employers. The City of Helsinki has offered nurses to work at Herttoniemi Hospital in 2,658.42 per month in addition to the 5% fixed-term bonus, and HUS has promised 2,726.78 per month for the same job.

At the same time, the private MedVida is offering a full-time nurse in the same hospital a monthly salary of more than € 4,000. All ads have the same roles and requirements.

Representatives of the Health and Social Association (Tehy) have said that in practice a private company can offer different pay for the same work due to differences in public and private sector collective agreements.

The association warns that the pay gap is ethical and is likely to affect nurses’ morale, and also points out that the salaries offered by HUS and the City of Helsinki do not reflect the urgency of the continuing shortage of health care staff.

Walk-in leads to a new vaccination record in Tampere

Walk-in venues have significantly increased vaccination coverage in some parts of Finland, says a report by Aamulehti.

In Pirkanmaa, in the municipalities of Ylöjärvi and Lempäälä, vaccination rates rose with the entrances, while Tampere set a new record last week.

Birgit AikioThe head of nursing in the city of Tampere revealed that 20,551 vaccines were given in the city last week, an all-time record. Authorities expect the number to rise in the coming weeks.

Aikio explains the increase in vaccination rates due to vaccination points and a vaccination bus that has been running through the area since the end of last year.

Source: The Nordic Page

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