Authorization report The genius of politicians was supposed to improve the working conditions of kindergartens – Helsinki hoodies and deep resentment remained

Several years ago, the Helsinki Coalition Party devised an incentive for the daily lives of kindergarten employees. All that remains is the promise of hoodies.

Several years ago, the Helsinki Coalition Party got an excellent idea. It could be used to show appreciation to kindergarten workers. After all, the city could pay for work clothes that are suitable for work, especially when you are roaring in the yard with kindergarteners in any weather.

This could increase the attractiveness of a sector that is in the throes of an ever-worsening labor shortage.

saga in the beginning he was responsible for early childhood education as an assistant mayor Pia Pakarinen (kok). He recalls that the situation of early childhood education at that time was compared, for example, to the work clothes of the city’s construction service, Stara.

“If the male-dominated sector can afford clothing, why not the female-dominated sector?” Pakarinen asks now.

An initiative was taken to the council on the work clothes of kindergarten staff. The explanatory memorandum mentioned that outdoor clothing would be part of a good employer policy and a good employee benefit.

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Council rejected the initiative in October 2020. A collective agreement had been brought up by the bureau. The employer must purchase workwear if this is stipulated in the contract.

As there is no prescribed work uniform in day care centers, this would be a separate employee benefit. For example, it had been calculated that the purchase of shell jackets alone would cost between EUR 192 000 and EUR 422 400, depending on the quality of the jacket.

However, with political will, the case continued to be pushed. And finally, in the city’s budget last year, 300,000 euros were written for clothes. But because the budget was small and not enough for decent outdoor clothing, it was decided to buy about 7,500 hoodies.

There are still no hoodies.

“The staff won’t even get the damn Helsinki hoodies they promised, so there will hardly be any performance bonuses,” wrote one of the followers of Pakarinen’s popular Facebook group in early February.

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Helsinki va. director of early childhood education Ulla Lehtonen says in an email that the arrival of hoodies has been delayed due to delivery difficulties. The factory where the hoodies are made was closed, he said, due to a corona pandemic.

At least there is a photograph of hoodies promised to kindergarten workers as a model.

At least the mere promise of hoodies has not increased the suction of an early childhood worker. The shortage of early childhood educators has only deepened.

Professionals in the field are not unreservedly excited about the end result.

“First we talked about outerwear, and the workers had a picture that rainwear and winter clothes will finally be available,” says the deputy chief shop steward for early childhood education and pre-school education. Niina Varis. She is a babysitter herself.

Varis describes that because of the low wages in the industry, a large proportion of workers would want to be paid more to buy the clothes they want.

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Hoodies share opinions.

“There are people of that style who don’t wear a hoodie,” Varis describes. So some of the employees think it would not be nice to walk in the same clothes for everyone.

However, a new initiative on workwear is already under way for this year’s budget debate.

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