Finns highly sceptical of competitive tendering in public services

Trade Union News, 25 July 2000

Helsinki (25.07.2000—Juhani Artto) As the practice of competitive tendering for public services has increased, experience of its mixed results have made a large majority of Finns doubt the wisdom of such arrangements. According to a recent opinion poll, 84 per cent of the Finns think that competitive tendering goes too far when it reduced the pay of employees and undermines their job security. However one third of respondents felt that competitive tendering of public services was inevitable.

Another topic of concern is subcontracting. Almost one half of the Finns (49 per cent) regard increased subcontracting as a move in the wrong direction. Opinions are nevertheless divided, as 37 per cent are favourably disposed towards increased subcontracting. 52 per cent believe that subcontracting improves the proifitability of enterprises, but 67 per cent fear that it weakens the position of employees.

Half of the rank and file members of unions affiliated to the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions—SAK think that subcontracting has a negative impact on the quality of products.