Thousands of municipal workers, including teachers, early childhood educators, psychologists and social workers, went on strike in four Finnish cities on Wednesday as the largest industrial action in the municipal sector for decades.
The measure, called by the Public Sector Professional Consultative Organization (Juko), aims to put pressure on employers to resolve contractual disputes that focus primarily on employee pay programs.
An estimated 6,000 will strike in Oulu
Chief of Strike of the Yuko Juha Moilanen It is estimated that more than 6,000 employees in the municipality of Oulu are out of work.
The City of Oulu authorities have decided to suspend primary schools and high school students have switched to distance learning during the strike, which is due to end on Thursday at midnight.
City libraries, swimming pools and other indoor sports facilities were closed.
Services hit Turku
In Turku, about 3,500 municipal employees are on strike, which will affect several services on Wednesday and Thursday.
Public day care centers are closed, as are schools, and on-call duty has been reduced in the city’s health centers.
Several sports and cultural services have been suspended or are operating with limited staff.
Most, but not all, bus routes run according to normal schedules.
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Limited kindergarten in Rovaniemi
In Rovaniemi, schools are closed and not all children have access to day care.
About a third of Rovaniemi’s public employees are on strike. Yukon’s chief shop steward in Rovaniemi, Marko Bohmtold Yle that the industrial action has a wide-ranging impact.
"If you need city services today, you’re likely to experience a disruption," said Bohm.
While schools are closed, students can pick up lunches from their schools to take home between half past eleven and noon. However, children should bring their own dishes.
City daycare centers, on the other hand, are still open, but some staff are on strike, reducing regular service. Parents have been encouraged to arrange their own day care arrangements during the strike.
Pre-booked counseling services, school and student health care will be retained, but doctor’s appointments may be canceled.
Libraries have reduced service during the strike, but other leisure services are largely operating normally.
The city of Jyväskylä has also closed schools and some kindergartens.
By Sami LahtiThe service director of Jyväskylä’s basic education services, if the city’s schools had remained open, there would have been only a few dozen teachers during the strike.
"The situation cannot be arranged safely. So it is best to admit that teaching cannot be organized," he said.
Last week, the municipality’s employee groups rejected a conciliation proposal made by a Finnish labor mediator Vuokko Piekkala.
If the negotiations do not produce results by next week, the strike will also be held in Kuopio and Tampere and next week on 19-25 April. In Helsinki, Vantaa, Espoo and Kauniainen.
Source: The Nordic Page