PAM’s priority action programme: What does a humane society look like?
PAM’s Congress in June decided on a new priority action programme, which is made up of six themes. The fifth theme describes what a society that serves everyone equally looks like.
PAM aims at a model of a humane society, where the union and PAM members have an active role. It consists in a closer social safety net, social services available to all and development of labour market regulation.
Society’s safety net should be reformed to provide a livelihood when life changes, to enable people to focus on seeking new opportunities and does not humiliate those who need help. PAM’s collaboration with SAK, the trade unions and other stakeholders has a key role when lobbying policy makers.
“Basic protection, public services and labour market regulation should be reformed as a whole. This is PAM’s aim both in its political lobbying and around the negotiating table”, says PAM’s economist Olli Toivanen.
The social safety net and working in the 2000s should be discussed flexibly together. People can no longer simply be categorised as either unemployed, employed or self-employed. Being between these categories often means falling through the safety net or at least an uncertain livelihood. The rights of persons who fall outside the current strict categories of employment and unemployment should be defined.
“Work should as a rule always provide a living wage as well as entitlement to unemployment and pension security. The idea is not to support precarious employment through benefits, but to ensure that people are not left in the lurch”, Toivanen points out.
Service sectors operate in a 24/7 society, but this is not properly reflected for example in public transport, early childhood education or social and health care services. If care is not available in the public sector, the responsibility for care in families usually falls on women.
“We at PAM must bear particular responsibility that no member is excluded from society’s safety nets. We want all PAM members to get what is theirs by rights in society”, the programme states.
PAM’s priority is
- a social safety net that is comprehensive and humane as well as being straightforward and predictable for people. It ensures a livelihood if life changes, allows people to focus on searching for new opportunities and does not humiliate those who need help. PAM creates its own overall vision and participates actively in social security and labour market reforms
- high-quality social services that are available to all, that enable equal participation in the labour market, a high quality of life, personal development and a dignified old age
- that all work is done in a way that guarantees people security in unemployment and their pensions. The rights of persons who fall outside the current strict categories of employment and unemployment should be defined.
- that its services help members to participate in working life and provide support and security at different stages of life.
- that PAM members are active members of Finnish society.