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Tue, 04 Oct, 2016 12:07:38 AM
Taskforce submits report on unemployment reforms
FTimes - STT Report, Oct 4
SAK Chairman Jarkko Eloranta at a board meeting in Kirkkonummi on Monday to review the report on the unemployment reforms. Photo – Lehtikuva.
Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK) Chairman Jarkko Eloranta on Monday launched a broadside on the government saying its “one-sided” cuts in unemployment benefits would be contrary to the competitiveness agreement.
Eloranta said courtesy of the competitiveness agreement, the government cleaned out the additional saving lists contained in the unemployment benefits cuts.
The SAK board of directors examined on Monday the taskforce report on the unemployment reforms, which was finalised on Sunday without consensus among the labour market organisations.
Eloranta said even from the beginning, the mandate for the taskforce was harsh on the unemployed. 
According to Eloranta, the taskforce has repeatedly stressed that SAK did not join it to reduce unemployment benefits, but to speed up employment. 
The SAK chair said the proposed unemployment insurance reform would significantly undermine the livelihood of a significant portion of the unemployed and put them in an unequal position.
Other organisations will also discuss the report with their boards this week. 
The taskforce chairman, Secretary of State Martti Hetemäki presented the report to the government on Monday. 
The government had required a joint motion from the organisations that would increase employment by at least 10,000 persons. Of these 8,000 jobs should be created through changes to the earnings-related unemployment benefits. 
Next, the government will assess the results of the final report and make decisions based on it.
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