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City of Helsinki raises salaries for several occupational groups, offers culture and sports benefit to personnel

Salaries for certain groups of City of Helsinki employees will be increased on the basis of both centralised agreement instalments and the city’s own salary development programme. Under the city’s own salary development programme, pay increases will be targeted at specific occupational groups, in addition to which city employees will be offered a nonrecurring culture and sports benefit.

Salary development programme aims to make the city more attractive as an employer and ease recruitment challenges

The City of Helsinki 2022 budget proposal allocates EUR 5 million for the implementation of the city’s salary development programme. The programme is used as a basis for developing recruitment, particularly in those occupational groups where the city faces salary competitiveness challenges related to the availability of skilled staff.

The 2022 salary development programme will increase the salaries of almost 2,600 people, marking the fourth year of the programme’s implementation. The programme is based on an assessment of salary increase need and the availability of a skilled workforce to meet employer needs. The increases included in the salary development programme have been targeted at occupational groups on the basis of a needs assessment. The most critical occupational groups have been selected in cooperation with the management and HR professionals of the city’s divisions, units and municipal enterprises, as well as the City Executive Office. The preparatory work has involved extensive consultation with a wide range of stakeholders, including representatives of staff organisations.

Salary increases for select education, social services and health care workers

In order to improve the availability of qualified personnel, increases in the Education Division will be allocated to care and education staff working in Early Childhood Education at certain daycare centres and schools in Helsinki. The daycare centres in question were mapped out and selected in order to either prevent regional inequalities in early childhood education or address a particularly difficult recruitment situation. The increases apply to special assistants, early childhood education childminders, early childhood education teachers, special teachers in early childhood education and directors of day care centres who meet the statutory eligibility criteria. The increase will be granted for a fixed period of two years at a time.

In addition, teachers of special needs classes who meet the eligibility criteria in the Basic Education unit will also receive a pay increase.

In the Social Services and Health Care Division, the increases will be allocated to staff working in demanding and specialised child welfare institutions, as well as in reception services for children and young people and in 24-hour family assessment.

Increases in other occupational groups

Pay increases will also be allocated for other occupational groups. In the Culture and Leisure Division, the increases will be targeted at youth counsellors in Youth Services, where work to improve salaries had already begun in last year’s salary development programme.

In addition, increases will be granted to service managers and food service managers at the city’s municipal enterprise Service Centre, and to service coordinators, payroll secretaries and payroll accountants in the city’s Financial Management Services.

Increases will also be allocated to staff carrying out various architectural tasks. In the Urban Environment Division, salary increases will target employees working in demanding architectural or similar professional positions in the fields of city planning, Building Control Services and urban space and landscape planning. In the Culture and Leisure Division, there will be increases for architects in facility services and museums. In the Education Division and the Social Services and Health Care Division, the pay increases will apply to architectural posts in facility services.

In addition, money from the salary development programme will be allocated to the Social Services and Health Care Division for a one-off compensation to a separately defined group of doctors for retention purposes.

Culture and sports benefit for one year

In the 2022 salary development programme, in addition to the mentioned pay increases for critical occupational groups, the City of Helsinki will be offered a non-recurring culture and sports benefit to its personnel. This benefit is meant to compensate staff for the inconvenience caused by recent salary payment problems.

The culture and sports benefit is worth EUR 200 and will be available for staff use from 1 December until the end of 2023. The benefit also aims to improve the general wellbeing of the staff and maintain the city’s attractiveness and retention power as an employer.

The salary development programme is part of the city’s annual budget process

The City of Helsinki’s long-term salary development programme seeks to enhance the city’s attractiveness as an employer and systematically raise salaries, especially in those occupational groups where the city faces salary competitiveness challenges related to the availability of skilled personnel. The salary development programme was launched by the city in 2019 as a systematic and methodical way to respond to this challenge.

The Helsinki City Council decides on possible budget allocations for the implementation of the salary development programme in the years ahead.

Photo: Jussi Nahkuri