Technology Industries of Finland’s activities to be divided between two associations – aiming to increase workplace bargaining
This press release was published on 25 March 2021 by Technology Industries of Finland.
The objective of the change is to further improve the conditions for workplace bargaining. At the same time, the aim is also to increase employee participation in the decision-making of companies.
In the future, Technology Industries of Finland will be responsible for lobbying related to labour market and industrial policies and it will provide companies that are not members of the new employers' association with assistance in employment matters and negotiations concerning company-specific collective agreements.
The founding meeting of Teknologiateollisuuden työnantajat ry (Technology Industry Employers of Finland) was held on Wednesday. Entrepreneur, Chair of the Board, Aaro Cantell from Normet Oy was elected as the Chair of the association. The association’s operations will commence in August after the changes to the rules of Technology Industries of Finland have been approved in federal meetings.
Two options for collective bargaining
The new organisational structure thus offers companies two alternatives for collective bargaining: a national or company-specific collective agreement. The aim is to promote workplace bargaining through company-specific agreements and by increasing the possibilities for local bargaining in national collective agreements.
“The new structure enables Technology Industries of Finland and the new employers’ association to better meet the service needs of different types of member companies, and the voice of the broad member base will be better heard. The change will speed up workplace bargaining. In addition, as a result of the arrangement, companies that do not feel the need to be included within the scope of national collective agreement services will be able to join Technology Industries of Finland as a member,” says Marjo Miettinen, Chair of Technology Industries of Finland.
“Well-functioning local bargaining and company-specific employment terms and conditions are increasingly important in order for export companies to thrive on the international markets. The situations of companies vary greatly and the differences have only increased recently,” Miettinen explains.
Workplace bargaining benefits both parties when the agreements are based on the coordination of the employer's needs, employee expectations and the prevailing financial situation. This increases productivity, supports growth opportunities and employment and enables steady salary development.
“I would like to make it unequivocally clear that the change is not made in order to weaken the position or employment terms of employees. Technology companies want to continue to offer stable employment, interesting jobs and good employment terms and development opportunities. Technology Industries of Finland and the new employers' association also want to maintain good working relations with the current agreement partners and the entire trade union movement,” Miettinen emphasises.
Personnel to be involved in companies’ decision-making
Technology Industries of Finland recommends that member companies provide employees with more possibilities to influence matters by involving staff representatives in the companies’ decision-making in a manner that is suitable considering the company's operations if such practices are not already applied. This will increase trust, cooperation and transparency, which will, in turn, promote the creation of workplace-specific solutions.
The recommendation applies to technology companies employing at least 50 people. The intention is that companies decide whether participation should be implemented through the Board of Directors, Management Team or through some other cooperation method that effectively ensures cooperation. The criteria for selecting staff representatives would be the same as for other members, and they should be shared with employees in advance. The recommendation is that employees would propose 2–3 people for the position. The final selection is made by the party responsible for appointing the body in question. In addition, it is recommended that administrative decisions in companies are shared with employees as openly as possible.
In connection with the structural change, it was also decided that the activities of Teknologiateollisuuden työnantajat ry will be guided by greater transparency in terms of its own collective agreement objectives and negotiation processes. In addition, a “work culture project” has been launched in the sector, with the aim of developing an inclusive work culture and open interaction.
Key changes in a nutshell:
- The activities of Technology Industries of Finland will be divided between two associations. The current Technology Industries of Finland will no longer make national collective agreements, and the responsibility for national collective bargaining will be transferred to a new association, Teknologiateollisuuden työnantajat ry.
- Teknologiateollisuuden työnantajat ry will negotiate national collective agreements for companies that want to belong to the scope of the collective agreement services offered by the employers’ association.
- In the future, Technology Industries of Finland will be responsible for lobbying related to labour market and industrial policies and it will provide companies that are not members of the new employers' association with assistance in employment matters and negotiations concerning company-specific collective agreements.
- The new arrangement for agreement activities will already be in effect in the next round of negotiations.
- As a result of the arrangement, companies that are currently not members of the federation and that do not feel the need to be within the scope of national collective agreement services will also be able to become a member of Technology Industries of Finland.
- Technology Industries of Finland recommends that companies employing at least 50 people involve a staff representative in the company's decision-making in a manner that is suitable considering the company's operations.