Well done, dear academics
In my last editorial, I pondered the redemption of the pay raise option that was agreed upon in the last round of collective bargaining agreements, for reasons of fairness and productivity. The fairness demand is increased this spring based on the pay raises negotiated by other unions to retain purchasing power, as well as the moderate salary solution.
Productivity has continued to improve, and in recent years the people at our universities have done very important and visible work for science, civilisation, and society. Co-operation with all parties is going well. Scientific institutions are listened to and respected, with studies showing we are in the top three most trusted institutions in Finland, which itself is the most science-positive European country.
University people’s rigorous defence of civilisation, united front in resisting cuts to education, and continuous flexibility have played a crucial role. The most significant programme to promote knowledge and knowhow in decades has started, as the eight-year special act to increase RDI funding was approved, along with extended RDI tax deduction rights for businesses, at the start of the year. The parliamentary RDI working group continues to monitor the programme whilst our next government sets the concrete path for the near future with their RDI funding plan.
It has been immeasurably important for the RDI programme for our politicians to awaken to the importance of researched information. Both the EU and businesses have made significant investments to circular economy, digitalisation, and the abandonment of fossil fuels.
Our future governments will be faced with increasing inequality amongst the populace, a decreasing level of education, and biodiversity loss. In order to fix these problems, we need researched information, high expertise, and seamless co-operation. The dedicated work and talent of all of us at the universities is definitely in demand.
We have also kept the universities and research institutions running during the pandemic by moving to remote learning and new ways to study and conduct research. We have supported the students through the highs and lows of remote learning and raised awareness of the harm caused by cuts to the Academy of Finland’s and Business Finland’s grant authority. In addition, we agreed to a moderate salary solution to support our society in 2022. I strongly believe we have earned our pay raises, just like others in this country.