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Agreement reached for the private education sector: removal of the Competitiveness Pact regulations, general salary increases

27.03.2020 - 14:00 News
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The private education sector agreement, negotiated by OAJ and the Finnish Education Employers, is in line with the labour market’s general policy. The working time regulations of the Competitiveness Pact will be removed. The duration of the agreement period, beginning on 1 April, is 24 months and the cost impact of the agreement is 3.2 per cent.

For the first time in history, the private education sector and adult education centres acted as the pathfinders for the education sector’s agreement negotiations. Never before have the private education sector’s agreements been finalised before the public sector’s agreements. The coronavirus situation compressed the process and sped up the schedule for reaching a solution.

Removal of the Competitiveness Pact, deteriorations rejected

According to OAJ’s Chief of Negotiations Eila Urpilainen, the solution reached was the result of exceptionally intense negotiations.

– It was definitely not easy, and the Competitiveness Pact was a major reason. We approached the situation with the demand of removing all the working time regulations of the Competitiveness Pact; however, the employer party’s response was to add a large number of deteriorations. Finally, we were able to reject these one by one.

The full-time and part-time teachers of musical education institutions will also get rid of the working time regulations of the Competitiveness Pact and there will not be new obligations to replace these.

– I’m happy about this improvement as the working time regulations were especially unreasonable for the teachers at musical education institutions, Urpilainen states.

The working time regulations of the Competitiveness Pact will be removed from all agreement appendices on 1 August 2020.

Two-year agreement

The new agreement enters into force on 1 April 2020. The duration of the agreement period is 24 months, which means that the agreements are valid until the end of March 2022.

Salary increases in line with the general policy

The cost impact of the agreement is 3.2 per cent. During the agreement period, there will be two general increases of 1.1 per cent, on 1 August 2020 and 1 June 2021, as well as two adjustment instalments.

0.5 per cent will be distributed locally on 1 December 2020 and 1 June 2021. The adjustment instalments will primarily be used locally in the way decided by the employer on the basis of the difficulty of the work or good performance.

At vocational institutions, the adjustment instalments have been used in the transfer to the annual working time system.

A coronavirus clause is included in the negotiation result of the private education sector. If the coronavirus epidemic causes significant financial struggles for the educational institutions, the level and payment schedule of the local instalment on 1 December 2020 can be locally agreed otherwise.

Support for well-being at work

A new element of teachers’ training and well-being at work was included in the agreement. Promoting these was one of OAJ’s main objectives.

– The intention of these new practices is to promote well-being at work as the prerequisite of enjoying one’s work. It must be locally ensured that the execution corresponds with the purpose, Urpilainen says.

Teachers providing education must complete six hours of training promoting and maintaining their proficiency or activities improving their ability to work and well-being at work. In the future, co-planning working time is defined for the entire school year. The schools must plan the content of the co-planning time and monitor its use in a manner commonly agreed within the educational institution.

Apart from the removal of the working time regulations of the Competitiveness Pact, there were no changes to the working time regulations of vocational institutions.

The teachers in other forms of educational institutions will participate in training promoting their proficiency or in activities promoting their well-being at work for a total of not more than 12 hours. The principles of such use of working time will be negotiated with the OAJ shop steward. For teachers at folk high schools working according to the annual working time, the corresponding 12 hours will be added to the teachers’ non-binding working time.

28 per cent of non-binding working time for teachers at universities of applied sciences

The working time of all teachers at universities of applied sciences is 1,600 hours, of which 28 per cent is non-binding from 1 August 2020 onward. At the universities of applied sciences working according to the calendar year, the change will be implemented from the beginning of the next planning period, in other words, from the beginning of 2021.

No changes were made to salaries, which means that the availability increase for teachers in the technical and traffic sectors is retained. This also applies to the new technical sector employment relationships at universities of applied sciences. The current working time conditions are restored for the current technical teachers if they stay with the same employer.

Work group to assess the need for change in upper secondary schools’ employment terms

The changes to the conditions of teachers’ employment relationship required by the Act on General Upper Secondary Education and the upper secondary schools’ curriculums will be solved in a work group. The work group has been given until the end of March 2021 to resolve the issues.

Another work group will assess the regulations related to teachers.

The weekly working time of adult education centres returning to the level preceding the competitiveness agreement

The main content of the vocational adult education centre’s collective agreement, such as the agreement period and increases, correspond with what was agreed in the private education sector. The coronavirus clause also applies to the adult education centres.

The weekly working time of adult education centres will return to the level preceding the Competitiveness Pact. Teachers must complete no more than 12 hours of training promoting and maintaining their proficiency or activities improving their ability to work and well-being at work during the working year. Common principles will be negotiated with the shop steward.

The time accounted for increases according to experience will be expanded. From now on, working as an entrepreneur will also accrue the teacher’s increases according to experience.

Photo: Leena Koskela