What is a collective agreement? | Trade Union Pro
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What is a collective agreement?

A collective agreement (TES) is an agreement entered between a trade union and employer union concerning the terms of employments followed in the field.

The agreements are generally field-specific. They cover the terms of employment of clerical employees working, for example, in the field of financing, information technology service, construction, metal industry, or data communications industry.

Collective agreement binds the members of the signed trade unions and the employers who are members of an employer union which has signed the agreement. These kinds of agreements are called normally binding.

In addition, there are generally binding collective agreements. These extensive agreements also bind unorganised employers and the employees working for them.

Read also: Collective agreement means significant benefits

Collective agreement

  • The collective agreement negotiated by Trade Union Pro and employer union defines the benefits and rights of the clerical employees in the field.
  • It defines the minimum terms on the basis of which everyone can negotiate a better contract of employment for himself or herself.
  • Collective agreement can be improved with a local agreement negotiated by the shop steward.
  • Members can also influence the contents of the collective agreement of their field.

Collective agreement and minimum wages

Pay system is an integral part of collective agreement, since it defines the minimum wages.

The legislation governing labour and employment decided on by the Parliament of Finland lays the foundation for collective agreements. Since minimum wages are not defined in the Finnish legislation governing labour and employment, the wages of employees are based on collective agreements negotiated by trade unions.

Collective agreements are used for supplementing the legislation or for negotiating field-specific contracts. The main principle is that collective agreements cannot include terms that are inferior to the terms stated in the legislation.

Regulations mentioned in collective agreements most often concern working hours. These kinds of issues are, for example, systems for balancing of working time in shift work, shift work compensation and weekly days off.

There are regulations recorded in collective agreements that are not dealt with in the legislation. These kinds of issues are, for example, travel expenses, holiday bonus, additional days off (called “pekkasvapaat”) or sick pay or maternity leave pay.

Your collective agreement

As you begin your new job, always check which collective agreement your workplace follows. Information on the benefits and rights secured with the collective agreement is often valuable.

More specific information on the collective agreement is available from you shop steward or from Pro's employee counselling. In possible cases of conflict, Pro's members can seek assistance from the Union's shop steward and employee counselling.

Our employee counselling serves our members from Monday to Friday from 8.30 am to 4 pm at +358 9 1727 3442.

A collective agreement negotiated by a trade union gives you benefits which are far superior to the Employment Contracts Act

How do you benefit from the collective agreement?

Pro's collective agreement ensures fair rules of the contractual relationship and appropriate pay.

Pro's shop steward negotiates in the workplace with the employer in the issues concerning the contracts of the clerical employees and supervises and safeguards the rights of the Union's members.

Collective agreement safeguards the correct pay and pay development. Pro agrees on the minimum wages and general pay increases that form the basis for the pay system of clerical employees. In addition, you can negotiate your personal pay increases.

Collective agreements also include decisions on working hours and overtime pay. Trade Union Pro's collective agreements include, for example, agreements on shift differential, travel-time allowance, sick pay, maternity leave pay, holiday bonus, and on-call allowance.

Collective agreement covers you against arbitrary terminations and layoffs, since the agreements state the rules to be followed in case of termination i.e. so-called termination procedures.