Niko Simola, the Chairman of the Federation of Salaried Employees, Pardia, believes that the impacts of continuous, formulaic cuts in expenditure on government agencies can now be seen in Finnish Customs. The cooperation procedure announced on 19 October is the result of continuous cuts, which have shrunk the agency’s budgets to the point where no financial buffer remains.
– The reduction in the operational budgets of government agencies are affecting personnel in particular, since retirements and other natural wastage are not occurring in line with calculations.
Customs itself has mentioned cumulative and unforeseen budget reductions as the reason for its weak financial situation. The agency must make a total of around four million euros of savings next year. Its entire personnel is now under threat of being laid off.
– It is already the case that some Customs offices have so few staff that the lay-offs will create major problems in providing Customs services. The savings will be insignificant in relation to the problems caused.
– There is no need for further cuts in government agencies and Customs personnel. The lay-offs are a huge blow to the agency’s staff, whose holiday pay will be cut by 30 per cent over the next three years, while their working hours are extended without compensation. There has to be a limit to what the employees are expected to endure.
Pardia proposes that all possible means be sought of balancing the budgets of government agencies.
– Parliament should reject the Government’s proposal for unconditional budgetary cuts, if it wishes to promote employment and access to high-quality government services.
The Federation of Salaried Employees, Pardia has a total membership of 40,000, of whom the majority are employed by government agencies and institutions, and a significant number are employed by public utilities, companies, universities, and Kela. Pardia is one of the largest member unions of the Finnish Confederation of Professionals (STTK).
For additional information, please contact: Niko Simola, Chairman of the Federation of Salaried Employees, Pardia, on GSM 040 566 8517 and Jari Nieminen, Chairman of the Union of Customs Public Servants, GSM 040 332 6739.