The Committee of Ministers has published the terms of a conciliation proposal aimed at resolving the strike by municipal employees, which closed schools, kindergartens and other services last week in ten cities across Finland.
Committee – chaired by officials Elina Pylkkänen Ministry of Economy and Labor – made an exceptional decision to publish the proposal because the strike is a "matter of overriding public interest"Pylkkänen said at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.
He added that both sides of the labor dispute have until noon on Wednesday to respond to the proposals.
The terms include a three-year collective agreement and a five-year wage agreement, according to which wages in the municipal sector will rise five percent above the normal cost of living.
If the proposal is accepted by both parties, the wage agreement would enter into force next year and extend until 2027. Wages would rise by about one percent a year compared to general wage increases.
"The proposal is balanced, fair, sustainable and stabilizing," Pylkkänen said, but did not comment on the likelihood that both parties would accept the proposal.
Staff representatives had indicated that they would prepare for further action if a satisfactory solution to the labor dispute is not found, while employer groups have argued that union wage demands would be unsustainable for public finances.
The week-long strike, organized by public sector unions Juko, Jyty and JHL, which began on May 3 and ended on Monday, involved an estimated 81,000 workers and returned students to classrooms on Tuesday.
The proposal, released on Tuesday, also applies to health care workers who postponed their own industrial action last month in response to a threat from the law that could have effectively forced striking nurses back to work.
Nursing associations SuPer and Tehy have since begun preparations for a mass resignation campaign for healthcare workers if no satisfactory solution is found to the dispute.
Source: The Nordic Page