Pay deal reached in technology sector in Finland

There is to be a pay rise in the technology industry of 3.2 per cent over the next two years.

The deal covers 100,000 employees and will almost certainly serve as a guideline to be followed for the rest of the collective agreements being negotiated this Autumn.

The Finnish Industrial Union and Technology Industries of Finland reached a deal for a new collective agreement in negotiations on Monday 30 October. The deal was ratified by the decision making bodies of both parties on Tuesday 31 October, the day on which the old collective agreement expired.

The agreement covers two years beginning from 1 November 2017. There is also an option for a third year, and pay concerning that will be negotiated in Spring 2019.

The goal of the deal is that the pay rise, how and when to do it, should be negotiated at company level taking into account local circumstances.

If such a deal is not reached at company level, there will be a 1.1 per cent pay rise for all employees from the beginning of 2018. In addition, the employer can decide on how to distribute a pay rise of 0.5 per cent at company level.

Again, if no company level deal is reached, from the beginning of 2019 there will be a pay rise across the board of 0.9 per cent and the employer can decide on how to distribute a pay rise of 0.7 per cent.

The parties have agreed on guidelines for distributing the company level pay rise.

Riku Aalto, Chairperson of the Finnish Industrial Union says that the deal improves wage and salary earners’ purchasing power, but is at the same time good for the national economy.

This wage deal is the first major one in this autumn round of collective agreements. It will most probably set the level for pay rises in the other sectors too, and pave the way for other collective agreements.

It might also help to open the dead end where negotiations in the Paper Workers’ Union collective agreement have come to a halt right now due to the employers’ offer of a zero pay rise.

Heikki Jokinen