Temp worker – the possibility to customize your work Temporary work may give the possibility to do work which is customized according to the employee’s needs – but how many temporary workers really see this as an opportunity? A study by the Finnish Federation of Special Service and Clerical Employees ERTO, an organization for employees (in Finnish, palkansaaja) working in expert positions in the private service sector, shows that not too many. According to the study, the two most common reasons for doing temporary work are the need for fast employment and the fact that no other type of work is available. The other given options in the questionnaire that were “I wanted more freedom for my work”, “I wanted to experience different jobs and workplaces”, or “I wanted to foster my career” didn’t get even 1/3 of the answers of the first two mentioned. Based on this result, it seems that employees do not see temporary work as a possibility, but as a necessity. Temporary work is still considered as the lower option for a permanent work contract. This conclusion is supported by a fact from the study that 74 % of temporary workers would like to have permanent position from their current work place. But still there are people who can make the most out of the temporary work. Usually these individuals like the possibility to assign their working times according to their needs. Some need time for their studies, some time for travelling, some because they have more flexibility in taking care of their children. Other reasons for valuating temporary work over a permanent position were better earnings and diverse workplaces – some felt that they would get bored staying in the same workplace always. Based on this study it seems that the status of temporary work is still undervalued. In order to improve the working conditions of temporary workers, one key issue would be to emphasize the positive side of doing temporary work: flexibility and freedom. The questionnaire for this research was done in April 2011 among the members of ERTO. 305 members replied, from which 59 % were women. 54 % of respondents were under 25 years old, which typically is the age when temporary work is more common.
Is a temporary worker equal? Temporary work is getting more and more popular in Finland, but is the temporary worker equal compared to permanent workers in a workplace? A study about temporary work was done in April 2011 by the Finnish Federation of Special
Service and Clerical Employees ERTO, an organization for employees (in Finnish, palkansaaja) working in expert positions in the private service sector. The questionnaire was sent to members of ERTO: 305 members replied, from which 59 % were women. Under 25 years old respondents were the majority. Inequality comes often from the fact that temporary workers do not have the same benefits as permanent workers. They do not get the possibility to be a part of the company bonus system or have performance based wage; the salary might be lower than permanent workers have, and employee benefits might not be given to temporary workers. Some of the respondents said that they were excluded from company supported training and education courses, company info sessions, even from company parties. As long as temporary workers do not get the same benefits as permanent workers, the image of temporary work will not get any better. Temporary workers bring flexibility to employers for example at times when more staff is needed for a certain amount of time; temporary workers are also a great way to conclude unfinished projects and tasks that are waiting to be done. In the long run, more equal positioning of temporary workers would serve employers benefits as well, as the need for temporary workers is getting bigger and bigger all the time.
Guide to salary discussions for managers and employees published in Finland Over the past two decades the equality of salary issues in Finland has become better. Prerequisites are good for the salary system that is considered fair but also encouraging for employees (in Finnish, toimihenkilö). Less attention, however, is paid to the issues like how the desired salary system can be maintained, and how the whole salary system could work better for both employees’ and managers’ needs. The Finnish Confederation of Professionals STTK, together with Confederation of Finnish Industries EK, has published a new book “Salary Discussions in Finland - experiences and tips”. This guide is designed to offer information for salary discussions between managers, employees and employee representatives alike. Along with the experts from STTK and EK, the book includes results and point of views from Aalto University researchers, who have been studying the subject. The salary discussion is a systematic and logical way to go through with the job performance and salary equivalence with every employee. Good salary discussions are held with agreedupon rules of the game, and discussions should follow the same principles with every employee (in Finnish also, palkansaaja). In this book the idea of salary discussions and their practical implementation takes place through examples, research results and experience gathered from Finland.
Today many Finnish employees have good knowledge about different employee / employer discussions, for example about development talks or evaluation discussions. This guide can help clarify the relationship between these discussions and practical tips how to behave in these different discussions. “The salary is a compensation for work done, source of income and appreciation measurement. From the organizational point of view, the wage is a key part of the reward package offered for the employee, a major cost factor, and great management tool. A well-designed reward package with a well-functioning salary and reward systems will have the impact to skilled personnel, namely to their retention and enthusiasm. Results from the successful salary system are shown as employees’ competence, good performance and the development of operations, “ summarizes Aarnio, one of the writers of the book. Although the salary discussion is not suitable for all work sectors, this book will benefit anyone interested of salary issues, successful salary discussion and salary systems.
European Trade Union Confederation demands work, equality and fairness European trade unions met in May 2001 in Athens for the European Trade Union Confederation Congress. This meeting is held every four years; this year, the most important issues that were discussed in the congress were economical and employment crisis management. The main demand from ETUC was to develop European labor (in Finnish, työmarkkina) to the direction which takes into account the employees and the social justice. Even the Europe is in the middle of economical crises, ETUC would like to see the ways of surviving that would combine both the employees (in Finnish, palkansaaja) well being and economical competitiveness. The ETUC has not welcomed the cutting policy that has been managed by European Commission and practised by European governments. These trade unions believe that the current movement will endanger the wages, public services and workers' rights. The debate has been especially heated related to the fresh initiative that would impose wage and collective bargaining under the watchful eye of European Commission. Additional to the big discussion related to the economy, employment, and the regulation of markets, the topics included following: labor mobility, sustainable development and social dialogue between employees and employers. The new secretary general, the secretariat and the government for ETUC were elected in the congress also. ETUC is the highest decision-making body of European trade union movement, which
determines the strategy for the employee parties and action plan for the coming years. Founded in 1973, the ETUC consists of 83 European confederations of workers from 36 countries and 12 sector-specific European Union. The ETUC member organizations are representing around 60 million workers in Europe.