The main reason for the deadlock is the employers' uncompromising demand for unilateral control over working hours, including weekends. The pay rise question has not yet been resolved either.
Antti Hakala, Director of the Finance Sector in Trade Union Pro says that the Union is ready to make a deal that would mean weekend work could be agreed locally at individual workplaces according to the needs of both the company and employees. The employers do not accept this and want to have sole power when it comes to deciding on weekend work.
– A significant part of Trade Union Pro members are ready to work during weekends. To address the needs of customers an arrangement that would suit everyone could be reached on the basis of company level negotiations and voluntarily, Hakala says.
Negotiations concerning a new collective agreement for the financial services sector have been going on since last October, but so far without any result. The existing collective agreement expired at the end of November last year.
The National Conciliator Minna Helle has been acting as a mediator in the dispute since December, but this has not led to an outcome agreeable to both sides. She announced at the beginning of March that she will only continue with arbitration when both parties show signs they are prepared to compromise on their demands.
Trade Union Pro wants to move forward with the collective bargaining and have issued strike warnings to this effect. These will cover the OP Financial Group from 26 - 29 March and Danske Bank with several other banks from 9 - 12 April.
Trade Union Nousu, which organise employees at Nordea Bank, has issued a strike warning for the Nordea Bank from 3 - 6 April.
There has already been two short bank strikes in December and January.
Trade unions and employers will next meet at the National Conciliators office on Friday 16 March.
Trade Union Pro is preparing for solidarity action in its other sectors. The Union is involved in 60 collective agreements in industry, service and ICT and communication sectors.
Trade Union Pro is the largest private sector union for clerical employees and the largest member union of the Finnish Confederation of Professionals STTK.