Third notice of strike in the municipal sector in Oulu and Turku

15.03.2022 - 15:26 News

A third notice of strike in the field of education is being issued to the municipal sector. The strike concerns OAJ members employed by the cities of Oulu and Turku, who number approximately 4,500.

OAJ and the negotiating organisation JUKO are issuing a third notice of strike this spring. The notice of strike concerns the cities of Oulu and Turku. Last week, a notice of strike was issued in the cities of Jyväskylä and Rovaniemi, as well as Tampere and Kuopio

If no agreement is reached, the strike will take place on 6–7 April. 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.

Salary programme a constant issue, among other factors

Since last week, negotiations on the municipal sector agreement have been continued under the leadership of a National Conciliator. The municipal sector faces in particular the challenge of salary developments lagging behind other sectors, for which the employee side has offered a salary programme as a solution.

“The salary programme could help to correct the injustices that have arisen over the years. The last time such a comprehensive salary programme was agreed upon was in 2004–2007, but it is no longer workable. The new multiannual salary programme would allow for a fairer increase in salaries of the education sector than a regular general increase, and over several years,” explains Olli Luukkainen, President of the OAJ.

“Without a salary programme, the gap between salaries in the private and public sectors will only widen. This is unfair to current teachers, but at the same time it reduces the attractiveness of municipalities as employers. At worst, it will also push current education professionals to move away from the public sector,” Luukkainen continues.

“At the moment, many municipalities are already in trouble because no qualified early childhood education teachers are applying to work there, but are still not prepared to solve the teacher shortage, for example, with a higher salary, even if it would obviously solve at least part of the problem,” says Petri Lindroos, Negotiations Director at OAJ.

The strike is part of organisational measures

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. The directors and principals of ECEC centres are also included in the scope of the strike. The strike does not affect municipal education and training consortiums, so the employees of OSAO are not part of the strike. 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 also been excluded from the strike.

During the strike, teachers employed by the cities of Oulu and Turku will not go to their workplace, provide distance teaching or handle any other work-related tasks. The employers 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.

A 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, for example, 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. 

OAJ has compiled answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the strike.