OAJ's Executive Board decided at its meeting last week to organize a political strike on Wednesday, January 31, 2024. The strike will be carried out in all early childhood education units in the capital region.
Among the OAJ members, all those working in early childhood education in the capital region (Espoo, Helsinki, Kauniainen, Vantaa) are affected by the strike, regardless of contract sector and employer. The strike aims to influence the weakenings of working life, which are particularly harmful to OAJ members and the entire teaching and research sector.
Strong support for the strike from the members
In a member survey conducted by OAJ in January, members gave strong support for a legal strike. As many as 87 percent of the respondents in early childhood education were ready to strike.
– OAJ's threshold for political industrial actions is extremely high. Now the threshold is crossed because the constructive and close dialogue with the Finnish government has not produced results, OAJ's President Katarina Murto states.
OAJ understands the need to balance the public finances and increase the employment rate, but not all of the proposed working life weakenings support these goals. The strike organized by OAJ is not against the country's government, but rather against the government's planned working life weakenings for those working in the teaching and research sector. The member survey supports OAJ's views that we cannot accept an export-driven labour market model and, on top of that, the weakening of the position of temporary employees, the termination of adult education support, and unpaid wages on the first day of illness.
Leadership is expected from the Finnish government
Throughout the fall, OAJ has proposed negotiations on the labour market model and alternative solutions to the most central issues of working life.
– In an inflamed situation, pragmatism and the ability to compromise are needed from all parties. I especially hope that the Finnish government can now find the kind of leadership that will help resolve the crisis-ridden labour market situation. Now it would be wise to prevent the situation from escalating, Murto reminds.
OAJ continues to appeal to other labour market parties to return to the negotiation table on the labour market model without delay. OAJ also published today a joint statement with Ammattiliitto Jyty, which appeals for the preservation of contractual freedom and the negotiation path. Read more (in Finnish)