PAM’s Rönni-Sällinen: Mediation proposal didn’t offer enough for the low-paid – Property services negotiators to meet this afternoon
Service Union United PAM rejected the mediation proposal made by the National Conciliator on Tuesday. PAM President Rönni-Sällinen says that low-paid workers in the sector really need an uplift to their pay, but that was not in the offing. The parties will negotiate again this afternoon, but if no agreement is reached, a strike will start in the sector tonight.
The minimum wage of a full-time property services sector worker is 1809 euros a month (pay scale 2). But there are a lot of part-time workers in the sector, especially in cleaning, meaning that many people’s earnings are even below this.
PAM rejected the proposal because the increases were not sufficient. In PAM’s view, the level of the mediation proposal was below settlements made in other sectors.
“There’s no way we will be contributing to widening pay gaps”, Rönni-Sällinen says.
The mediation proposal contained increased euro amounts, and Rönni-Sälllinen basically considers these a good thing. They increase everybody’s wages by the same amount, unlike percentage increases, where the increase is always higher the better your wages are.
“The cost of living has shot up. It’s different for property services companies. In a labour-intensive sector where wages haven’t gone up, inflation has hardly affected the companies. In that sense too, companies should be able to afford to pay better wages”, Rönni-Sällinen estimates.
Turnover in the property services sector has grown enormously in recent years, but hours worked have not. In January 2023 turnover was 22 per cent higher and production volume 11 per cent higher than in 2019 on average. Hours worked, however, were much lower in 2022 than before Covid in 2019. This means that labour productivity in the property services sector has increased significantly from 2019 to 2022.
“On this basis too, property services sector workers deserve proper wage rises”, Rönni-Sällinen says.
The employers’ federation, Real Estate Employers, was prepared to accept the mediation proposal made by the National Conciliator. PAM and the employers’ federation will negotiate again this afternoon, but if the parties cannot reach an agreement, the strike in the sector will start on Thursday. It affects 25,000 workers across the 16 main companies in Finland.
More information about the strike here (in English) and about the situation in the sector here (in Finnish).