We have compiled here some questions and answers regarding the ban on overtime and shift change. The page will be updated during the agreement negotiation process.
If you have any questions concerning the ban on overtime and shift change or other organisational measures, you can contact us via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org . We will be reading the messages sent to this e-mail address daily until we conclude the agreements.
Which OAJ members does this ban on overtime and shift change concern?
The ban on overtime and shift change concerns municipal employees, employees covered by the general collective agreement for municipal personnel and municipal collective agreement for the education sector as well as OAJ members with an employment relationship in all education sector tasks throughout Finland.
You can check your own agreement here.
If a strike or ban on overtime and shift change concerns you, you have already received more detailed instruction on the organisational measures via e-mail. Follow OAJ’s bulletins, news on the OAJ website and the information channels of your local union branch.
Please make sure that your telephone number and e-mail address are up to date in OAJ’s membership information so that we can send you information about the organisational measures. You can update your personal e-mail address in My profile. Please use your personal telephone number and e-mail address as your contact information – not your work e-mail address – as your employer may prevent your from using your work e-mail address during the organisational measures.
Why has the ban on overtime and shift change entered into force?
The ban on overtime and shift change is an organisational measure used by OAJ and JUKO in order to conclude fair agreements for public sector employees.
The first priority of OAJ is always to conclude the agreements with employers through negotiations. However, the agreement negotiations concerning public sector teachers have been challenging and have come to a standstill, so OAJ and JUKO have decided to impose a ban on overtime and shift change.
Organisational measures must always be soundly based. Negotiations have been ongoing in the background for a long time and different alternatives have been considered. In this situation, the employee side was left with no other alternative but to start the organisational measures. Trade union membership obligates individual members to act in accordance with their union decision.
The benefits achieved through organisational measures are usually visible in the long term. At various times, different employees have been forced to ensure fair agreements through strikes and other organisational measures. Everyone participates in organisational measures, each in their turn. This is a question of solidarity towards other employees.
Does the ban on overtime and shift change concern both employees in an employment relationship and civil servants?
The ban on overtime and shift change only concerns employees in an employment relationship. It is not possible for a civil servant to be the subject of a ban on overtime and shift change in accordance with the legislation.
If you are in an employment relationship, you have already concluded a written or an oral employment contract with your employer. A civil servant is appointed to office at the beginning of their service.
Is the ban binding?
The ban on overtime and shift change is binding on all the OAJ members. All OAJ members must participate in organisational measures in order for them to be as impactful as possible.
What does the ban on overtime mean?
The ban on overtime means that the employee refuses to work overtime. The employee performs the working hours marked in the rota, but refuses to work additional hours. After all, employers are never allowed to make their employees work overtime without their consent.
What does the ban on shift change mean?
The ban on shift change means that the employee refuses to change their shifts. The employee follows the start and end times of work marked in the rota, as they have been confirmed in the rota. For example, an early childhood education teacher should not agree on changing their midday shift to a morning shift for the following day.
How long will the ban on overtime and shift change be in force?
The ban on overtime and shift change is in force for one week at a time. Please follow OAJ’s communications on the topic.
Up-to-date information about the status of negotiations in different agreement sectors can be found at Ajankohtaista sopimusneuvotteluista.
Should the overtime which has been agreed on with the employer beforehand be performed?
If you have agreed on overtime with your employer before the ban on overtime and shift change entered into force, this overtime will be performed as agreed.
Is the employer allowed to change the rota unilaterally during the ban on overtime and shift change?
The rota must be made available to the employees in writing at least one week before the start of the rota period. After this, it is only allowed to change the rota by agreeing or for justified reasons. If the rota is prepared, for example, for a three-week balancing-out period, all the working hours for the period must be announced one week before the period starts.
If your supervisor asks you to agree to a shift change during the ban on overtime and shift change, you must not agree to this. If there is a justified reason for the change, in such a case the employer may unilaterally change the shift without the employee’s consent before the employee’s shift has started. In this case, the action has been taken due to the employer’s decision, not the employee’s consent.
However, the employer may unilaterally change the shift for a justified reason on the basis of the general collective agreement for municipal personnel KVTES. In this case, the employee’s shift changes. The justified reason must be requested in writing, and the employee must be asked to sign the shift list change event. It is important to remember that the employer is not allowed to unilaterally extend shifts once the shift has started. In addition, the employer cannot order the employee to work overtime. The employee must always agree to work overtime.
Can the employer use emergency or protection work as justification?
The employer determines the limits of emergency work and protection work but teaching, training or research cannot be defined as such. Emergency work can only be carried out in exceptional circumstances provided for in the Working Hours Act (872/2019). The employer must notify the occupational safety and health authority and the Regional State Administrative Agencies about emergency work. If the employer invokes emergency work, a written notification of the emergency work must be requested to be presented.
Since the organisations have imposed a ban on overtime and shift change, employees will comply with the working hours marked in the rota as such. Unexpected absences may lead to a situation in which the early morning shift or late afternoon shift employee is absent and the ECEC centre must be opened later or closed earlier. In these situations, the employer cannot state that the employee is obligated to perform emergency work. The shortage of personnel is not threatening the children's lives but the parents can be asked to pick up their children earlier.
Emergency work refers to work which is essential in order to prevent the endangering of the health and safety of citizens or to protect such property that would be especially endangered due to an industrial action.
The emergency work regulations only apply to civil servants. An employee in an employment relationship cannot be ordered to perform emergency work. According to OAJ, work in the education, training and research field is not regarded as emergency work due to its nature.
I have agreed on standby work in my employment contract. Can I now refuse to perform standby work?
When agreeing on standby in the employment contract, the employee has also given their consent to possible additional and overtime work during the standby. For this reason, overtime during standby cannot be refused.
Do I have to agree to standby during a ban on overtime and shift change?
Only employees who have agreed in writing to be on standby, either by a written employment contract or otherwise, are obliged to agree to standby. However, from the point of view of occupational safety and health, no one can be continuously assigned to be on standby in line with the general collective agreement for municipal personnel KVTES. Therefore, if the standby has not been agreed in writing, e.g. in the employment contract, the employee must not agree to this during a ban on overtime and shift change either. This means that in such cases, there can be no overtime work.
Can a part-time employee perform additional work during the ban on overtime and shift change?
Additional work is not covered by the ban on overtime and shift change. Part-time employees are allowed to perform additional work to the extent corresponding to full-time work. Part-time employees may perform additional work at their own discretion.
Does the ban on overtime concern flexitime?
In flexitime, the employee decides on the placement of regular working hours within the agreed flexitime limits, but working hours cannot be extended during the ban on overtime. The employee is obligated to work only during the agreed fixed working hours. The flexitime band balance cannot be positive during the ban on overtime. It is not allowed for the employer to press the employee to work longer hours in flexitime.
Overtime may also be accumulated in flexitime. Therefore, the ban on overtime also concerns those working flexitime.
Does the ban on overtime and shift change concern chief shop stewards and shop stewards?
Shop stewards are subject to the ban on overtime and shift change in the same way as others, unless they are excluded by JUKO. Shop stewards can also take care of matters related to the employee relationship of an individual member during the ban on overtime and shift change, even if they are subject to the ban on overtime and shift change.
If I’m not a member of OAJ, do I still have to participate in the ban on overtime and shift change?
A non-unionised employee may take part in the ban on overtime and shift change without being sanctioned by their employer. There is no obligation to participate.
Who will receive OAJ’s strike benefit?
The ban on overtime and shift change does not entitle anyone to strike benefit, as the ban is not a strike. Strike benefit is paid to OAJ members for all the working days for which the employee is not paid by the employer during the strike. The OAJ Executive Board will decide the amount of the strike benefit for OAJ members.