Negotiations for university employee’s salaries continued on Wednesday 1 March


The negotiations for the pay rises of 34,000 university employees continued on 1 March.

“Unfortunately, the negotiating parties did not reach an agreement on pay rises,” say Tarja Niemelä, chair of the JUKO university advisory board (Finnish Union of University Professors) and Katja Aho, JUKO’s head of collective bargaining.

JUKO, the Negotiation Organization for Public Sector Professionals, has repeatedly stressed that the goal of the employee side is pay rises which boost purchasing power. The university employees really pushed themselves during the Covid pandemic and ensured high-quality research and teaching during that critical time. Student admissions have increased during the government’s current term of office, and there are plans to further raise the number of admissions, double the amount of doctoral education and triple the number of international students.

Aho reminds us that the collective agreement was terminated on 17 February, and therefore the negotiations no longer concern the salaries only. Rather, the provisions and period of the collective agreement are also now on the table, meanng the entire collective agreement. The trade unions and the employer representative, Finnish Education Employers (FEE), will meet again on 13 March.

JUKO, the Negotiation Organization for Public Sector Professionals; the Pro Trade Union; JHL, the Trade Union for Public and Welfare Sectors have terminated the collective agreement for universities, entering into force at the end of March.

If an agreement is not reached before that, university employees will consequently be without a valid collective agreement as of 1 April. Without a valid collective agreement, the provisions of the old collective agreement are observed until a new agreement is ready. Various forms of industrial action are also possible during the time of an invalid agreement.

The members of Akava trade unions on behalf of whom JUKO negotiates work in roles such as research, teaching, administration and management.