The collective agreements of 84,000 OAJ-members will end in a little over three months on 31 March, 2020. OAJ is going to be busy in the upcoming spring because we will be negotiating a new agreement for you. It’s great to be able to roll up our sleeves and do what is the core of a trade union: look after your interests.
OAJ has spent this entire year preparing for negotiations, both here in Helsinki and together with our various associations and committees. Our members’ participation in this autumn’s member survey and member meetings as well as other contacts with them has been an important part of the preparations. We are now ready for the negotiations, no matter what might come up.
Negotiations are always a matter of giving and receiving. Both parties have a long list of things they would like to achieve. Everybody has to give up something in order to gain something. We are aiming for the best possible outcomes that allow employees in the field of education to carry out their important work for fair wages and under fair terms.
Negotiations are always a matter of giving and receiving.
Our Executive Board, formed out of representatives from different member groups, decided this week on our negotiation goals. We cannot share all goals publicly because we do not want our opponent to know our priorities; this is part of negotiation tactics. Us negotiators will bring these goals up at the negotiation table when the time is tactically right in order to reach the best possible outcome.
However, some of our goals are clear: we want to get rid of the extended working hours of the Competitiveness Pact (i.e. kiky-hours) raise the wages in the field of education in the long run and make early childhood education teachers in the municipal sector subject to the same agreement as other teachers in the municipal sector. In addition, we will also highlight matters that can promote occupational well-being. You can find more information on our website OAJ negotiates.
The negotiation situation is more complicated than it has been in a decade. This past autumn, news headlines have been dominated by contract negotiations in other fields. The gap between the negotiating parties has been very wide, and many unions have gone on strike. Although these took place in completely different fields, the general atmosphere and employers’ attempts at weakening the terms of employment mean trouble for us as well.
The negotiation situation is more complicated than it has been in a decade.
What’s curious is how much the demands of different employers resemble each other, even though there was supposed to be no collective agreement. Employers have frequently talked about poor financial forecasts and used the lack of money to justify their actions in advance. We will not buy these excuses. However, we must prepare ourselves for a tough fight.
As part of the negotiation preparations, we are preparing for industrial action. By no means do we wish for it to happen, but it’s important to make sure we can take such action if necessary. If negotiations come to a serious standstill, we must be ready to fight together in order to secure what belongs to us.
As part of the negotiation preparations, we are preparing for industrial action.
In case industrial action happens and we need to contact you during it, we recommend that you check your contact info under your member information and use your personal e-mail address, because your employer may block your access to your work e-mail. You can find instructions for doing this here.