angle-left City of Joensuu will initiate co-operation negotiations

City of Joensuu will initiate co-operation negotiations

During its meeting on 25 March, the Joensuu City Board decided to initiate co-operation negotiations.

The co-operation negotiations are related to the ongoing economic adjustment programme, wherein the city is looking to save over EUR 20 million per year.

The negotiations affect all personnel as well as Joensuun Vesi, which is a publicly owned undertaking. No lay-offs are proposed. 

The proposed means of economic adjustment include measures that would lead to the reorganisation, reduction, outsourcing or closure of services and operations. If implemented, the means of adjustment will affect personnel.

The City Council will decide on the means of adjustment at its meeting on 17 June. Any co-operation negotiations must be carried out before the City Council makes its decisions.

– Even though the full range of economic adjustment measures has not been determined yet, we proposed to initiate negotiations now. Initiating negotiations well in advance means that personnel will have proper opportunities to have their say. An early start also means that there will be ample time for the negotiations before any decisions are made. The city is looking for permanent savings, which is why lay-offs are not considered as a primary measure, says Mari Pitkänen, the City of Joensuu’s Director of Human Resources.

The option with the broadest effect involves 130 employees switching to part-time or being dismissed

The plan is that any effects that the austerity measures might have on human resources would be arranged primarily through retirement agreements and fixed-term contracts. However, it is possible that changing contracts to part-time, dismissals or other significant changes to the duration of employment relationships will be required.

The proposed austerity measures would mean that, at most, 130 employees would be dismissed or have their contracts changed to part-time. 

– Because we are not excluding any means of savings, the negotiations will be extensive in scope. The actual number of employees affected by the austerity measures will depend on the City Council’s decisions. During the negotiations, we will prepare to implement all austerity measures, Pitkänen continues.

The co-operation negotiations are expected to last at least six weeks. They should be concluded before the City Board submits its proposal on economic adjustment in June 2024.

The effects that the austerity measures will have on human resources will be specified once the list of austerity measures is completed. 

The City of Joensuu employed approximately 2 700 people at the end of 2023. 1 837 of them had a permanent contract.

– Our employees are extremely motivated, and we understand how hard it is to wait until almost Midsummer for decisions to be made. By conducting negotiations well in advance, however, we will be able to provide information on the effect of the proposed austerity measures and to consider alternatives, Pitkänen says.