The new collective agreement in a nutshell
The collective agreement for technology industries according to the Pact for Employment and Growth enters into force on 1 November 2013. In terms of the salary solution, the pact is absolute: unless otherwise agreed locally, monthly salaries including benefits shall be increased by a minimum of EUR 20 as a general raise no later than 1 March 2014 or the salary period starting the closest to this date.
”As a minimum” means that any merit-based or other increase received before the beginning of March may include the above-mentioned 20-euro increase, if this is brought up separately when the merit-based increase is announced. The salary solution for 2014 shall be implemented as in 2013, but the increase will be 0.4 per cent.
According to the Pact, local agreements are allowed as in previous years. The company’s order book as well as the financial and employment status shall be taken into account in local agreements. The employer must provide the employees’ representative with adequate information on the above mentioned matters before the negotiations are started. The expected development of the situation shall be taken into account in the negotiations.
The purpose of local agreements has been recorded in the same way as in previous collective agreements, i.e. with the purpose of finding a salary solution best suited for the needs of each company or place of work supporting an encouraging, just salary structure and taking into account the development of productivity.
In the local salary agreement, the method of implementation of the salary revision, its time and amount shall be agreed. A written agreement shall be made by the end of November unless an agreement on an extension is made. As mentioned in the beginning, the increase includes the general raise in full.
Clear improvement in working hour issues
The collective agreement further determines regular working hours. According to the collective agreement, the length of regular working hours is agreed in the employment contract and arranged according to the Working Hours Act. A separate addition concerning the working hours bank was added in the collective agreement.
An Appendix was added to the collective agreement on working hours banks to be taken into use on a company or work place level. Such banks are intended for taking the individual working hour needs of managerial employees into account and to support the company’s productivity and ability to compete. The implementation and details of the systems are agreed in writing between the employer and the employees’ representative.
During the negotiations, the parties shall also prepare joint guidelines for the terms of reference for remote working and how to use it. In the Appendix, the parties encourage companies to implement modern working hour systems which promote productivity. Working hour arrangements allowing remote work are mentioned as an example.
Improving the representation of employees
The collective agreement improves the negotiation system and the status of the representation of employees. The remunerations paid to employees’ representatives and safety representatives are increased by approximately five per cent, and a new category is added in the monthly remunerations for people representing 101-200 employees.
Salary information can also be obtained more easily than before as the employer is required, from the beginning of the new contract period, to provide salary information in such a way that the average salary is also given according to the EK statistical items (management of operations, special experts, experts).
The time and place of representative elections are agreed with the employer no later than 14 days before the election. If a quicker process is required because a representative is missing, for example, the work place is entitled to act more quickly.
According to the entry in the collective agreement, regular discussions shall be arranged the workplace on the goals and functionality of the negotiation system. The first discussion shall be arranged two months after the beginning of the term of the representatives and thereafter once a year.
The collective agreement still includes an entry on the representative’s right to obtain information. The employer shall ensure that the representative is informed as early as possible of any issues affecting managerial employees either directly or indirectly.
More attention to aging employees
The protocol of signature mentions that actions aiming at well-being at work and the maintenance of the ability to work are continuous and comprehensive actions for the development of work, the work environment and the work community. Unions provide guidance on, for example, how to arrange training promoting the professional skills of employees and how to prepare a training plan at the workplace.
Special attention is paid to the work ability and workload of aging employees. The employer and a managerial employee aged 58 years or more shall discuss, on the basis of the employer’s survey, actions supporting the aging employee in their ability to continue working.
To support gender equality, the parties shall annually arrange joint training on the preparation of gender equality plans and the implementation of salary surveys. The goal is to arrange two national trainings and, if necessary, regional and company-specific events. A separate working group set up by the labour market organisations is discussing the position of those returning to work after family leaves as well as issues related to returning to work on a general level.
No changes in travel time
The new collective agreement does not change the compensations for travel time. The organisations will set up a working group with the task to, during the agreement period, promote company-specific discussions on the compensations for travel time as well as company-specific agreements. The goal is to sharpen the work of the working group which performed poorly in 2011-2013.
In order to develop employment matters, the parties will set up a working group working according to the principle of continuous development. This working group was removed from the collective agreement for 2011-2013 at the employer’s initiative.
The parties emphasise that a good relationship for negotiations and the improvement of cooperation between the organisations is in the best interest of both parties. The goal is to improve mutual respect, continue to clarify the agreement texts and, above all, to improve the structure and legibility of the collective agreement.
This is a short summary of the contents of the collective agreement, protocol of signature and appendices approved on Friday. In the coming weeks, we will arrange field events around Finland concerning the contents of the agreement.