Nordic conference discusses benefits and future of wage formation model based on collective agreements
Labour market and working life experts from different Nordic countries met at an event organised by the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment to discuss Nordic wage formation.
In her opening speech, Minister of Employment Tuula Haatainen emphasised that wage formation based on collective agreement negotiations is an integral part of the Nordic welfare state. The success of the Nordic wage formation model in terms of social justice has been recognised both internationally and in the EU.
“Research shows that a strong culture of agreement and wage formation through negotiations support the success and competitiveness of society and reduce poverty among employed people,” Haatainen said.
The conference discussed current challenges in the labour market models as well as international studies on wage formation. The wage formation model based on collective agreements will also be on the EU’s agenda when Member States and institutions discuss the draft directive on minimum wages.
“The Commission’s proposal on minimum wages aims to ensure fair and equal pay across the EU. The wage formation system based on collective agreements has the same objective and that is why we need to defend it at the EU level. Wage formation also has wider impacts on the distribution of income in society. At its best, the wage formation system promotes gender pay equality,” she added.
Other speakers at the conference included Jelle Visser, Emeritus Professor of Sociology from the University of Amsterdam; Irene Wennemo, General Director at Sweden’s National Mediation Office; Minna Helle, Deputy CEO of Technology Industries of Finland; and Barbara Kauffman, Director at the European Commission.
Finland holds the Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers this year. The conference is part of the Presidency programme, which aims to find ways for the Nordic countries to act more strongly together in a changing world.
Iiris Niinikoski, Special Adviser to the Minister of Employment, tel. +358 295 047 372 Seija Jalkanen, Chief Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 048 952