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Home BUSINESSNew collective agreement in postal sector uncertain
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Wed, 28 Oct, 2015 12:01:56 AM
FTimes – STT Report, Oct 29
File Photo – Lehtikuva.
Negotiations between the Service Sector Employers’ Association (Palta) and the Post and Logistics Union (PAU) for a new collective bargaining agreement has hit a stalemate.
Both Palta and PAU believe the possibility of reaching a new agreement before the current one expires is very unlikely. 
According to Palta, the deadlock in the situation is due to PAU’s reluctance to respond to the changes in the postal sector.
PAU, however, took a completely different position in respect to the stalemate.
“The stalling of the negotiations is due to the fact that the employers’ association has tabled 17 pages of objectives which seek to drastically weaken the terms and conditions of the existing collective agreement. Their effects on the monthly salary are several hundred euros,” said Heidi Nieminen, chairperson of PAU.
According to Nieminen, the employers’ union seemed to have indicated that the situation is of either accepting or rejecting its offer.
Nieminen said Palta, among other things, demanded setting the maximum length of shift at 10 hours as well as reducing evening, night and Saturday bonuses. 
Nieminen also said Palta demanded that the distribution of shifts should not necessarily fall under sorting work. “This would mean that one employee could end up distributing postal cart for 10 hours in the snow or ride delivery bicycle for the same time,” Nieminen explained.
File Photo – Lehtikuva.
Palta Deputy Director General Tuomas Aarto, on the other hand, said PAU’s anti-change braking tactics has led to a situation whereby the most important issues have not been properly negotiated.
“The postal sector is undergoing its biggest change in its history, which calls for changes in the collective bargaining agreement as well. PAU does not want to admit this fact,” remarked Aarto. 
The current collective bargaining agreement in the postal sector expires at the end of October. 
If the negotiation does not result in a new agreement, the sector will turn into a non-agreement sector.
The postal sector withdrew from the growth and employment agreement with labour market organisations in autumn 2013. Afterwards, the sector has signed two one-year growth agreements. The collective bargaining agreement covers 19,000 employees.
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