Trade unions unite forces in upcoming demonstration against the Finnish active model

In December 2017, the Parliament of Finland approved a bill on an active model for unemployment security. This will immensely affect the lives of unemployed persons receiving unemployment benefit as of the beginning of year 2018.

The model, which is widely considered controversial, cuts unemployment security, increases bureaucracy but does not genuinely encourage the unemployed. 

Like other trade unions in Finland, Service Union United PAM has not been party to the preparation of the model and has not been in favour of its implementation.

The unemployment security model was fiercely resisted also by the opposition before it came into force. Both the Social Affairs and Health Committee and the Constitutional Law Committee considered in their opinions that there were general problems in the proposal associated with the differing regional availability of jobs and the employability of jobseekers.


Next step demonstration

The Executive Board of The employees’ confederation SAK met in mid-January and decided on actions to oppose the active model for unemployment security. 
SAK is organising a political demonstration against the active model and as an affiliate of SAK, PAM is taking part in the actions opposing it. The demonstration will take place on Friday 2 February at 11 a.m. in central Helsinki.

Before that, on Tuesday 23 January, the member unions’ governing bodies will have a joint meeting, where they discuss further actions. 
SAK is proposing that the Finnish government rescinds the active model, and is prepared to present its own active job-seeking model at the meeting of union leaders on 23 January.

A part from this, a citizens’ initiative opposing the active model has collected almost 130,000 signatures from citizens all over Finland. The Finnish Parliament has an obligation to consider a citizens' initiative (with at least 50,000 approved signatures), but it is up to Parliament whether it wishes to approve an initiative, with or without changes.

Furthermore, the Finnish government is currently preparing the so-called version 2 of the active model, which will further tighten waiting periods for the unemployed.

Facts on the Finnish active model:

The active model means in practice that the level of earnings-related allowances, basic allowances or labour market support will decrease unless the unemployed person meets the activation requirements prescribed in the law. When allowances start to be paid out, the activity of the unemployed person is assessed in periods of 65 payment days. Read more about the active model on PAMs homepage

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The Nordic Union for Hotel, Restaurant, Catering and Tourism sector, is an association of unions in Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark, all of which unionise workers of the HRCT industry. The member unions have all made collective agreements with employers organizations and companies in the NU HRCT.

All in all NU HRCT covers seven unions with a total of about 115,000 members.