OAJ and the negotiating organisation JUKO are now issuing a second notice of strike. The notice of strike concerns the cities of Tampere and Kuopio. The strike would involve 4,000 members of the OAJ.
Teachers are involved in the extensive municipal sector strike, and the first notice of strike was issued on Monday this week, concerning the cities of Jyväskylä and Rovaniemi. The notice of strike issued today concerns teaching staff working in the cities of Tampere and Kuopio. If no agreement is reached, the strike will take place on 29–30 March. Members of Public Sector Union JAU’s member associations working in the municipal sector will also be striking in the same cities at the same time.
The Ministry of Employment and the Economy can postpone the beginning of the strike by two weeks. In addition, a civil servants’ strike can be postponed by another week.
“Now is the time for a municipal sector salary programme. We must use it to bridge the gap between where municipal sector salaries are currently and where they should be, and ensure that the municipal sector remains an attractive employer for future professionals. As they currently stand, municipal sector salaries fall short,” says Olli Luukkainen, President of OAJ and JUKO.
“With the current salary levels, the municipal sector is not a very attractive employer. For the future of Finland as a whole, it is essential that we maintain a solid education sector. We cannot hold on to the best teachers in the world if we do not pay them what they are worth,” says Petri Lindroos, Negotiations Director of OAJ.
Conciliation for the municipal sector agreement has started
Negotiations concerning the collective agreement for the municipal sector have been conducted since the beginning of this week with National Conciliator Vuokko Piekkala. The parties have worked to resolve the matter almost daily.
Strike benefit is paid for each day of the strike
The strike covers those OAJ members who are under the municipal collective agreement for the education sector and the general collective agreement for municipal personnel and are employed by the city. Members organised in the Trade Union of Education in Finland through KEA ry (Koulutuksen esimiehet ja asiantuntijat) or Opsia ry (Finnish Association of Educational Directors and Experts) have been excluded from the strike.
During the strike, teachers employed by the cities of Tampere and Kuopio will not go to their workplace, provide distance teaching or handle any other work-related tasks. The employer will withhold the teachers’ salaries during the strike, but OAJ will pay a strike benefit of EUR 180 per strike day to its members. The strike benefit is a taxable benefit that must be separately applied for from OAJ. Members covered by the strike will receive separate instructions from OAJ closer to the strike.
“We have prepared for the strike in the long term, for example, by preparing the materials in the second half of last year and by providing several rounds of training for the local strike operators. Members who are on strike should follow the communications of OAJ's local associations as well as their other channels. On the first day of the strike, a demonstration will also be organised together with other unions,” says Kaj Raiskio, Special Advisor at OAJ.
The strike is a legal measure for which the trade union is responsible. The employer is not allowed to pressure persons participating in the strike and cannot ask employees whether they are members of the union or intend to participate in the strike.
OAJ aims for, among other things, salary increases that ensure earnings development for teachers, a multiannual salary programme and the limitation of workload. Read more about the negotiation objectives (in Finnish).
OAJ has compiled answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the strike.