City of Helsinki increases the salary of over 4,500 employees – including early childhood education teachers, social workers and psychologists

The salary development programme is the City of Helsinki’s own initiative to increase staff salaries in addition to the increases specified in the collective agreements. The personnel groups receiving increases vary from year to year.
An adult and children in kindergarten.
Among other things, early childhood education teachers will receive a salary increase from the Helsinki salary development program this year. Photo: Maija Astikainen

The salary development programme has been split into two parts since the social, health care and rescue services reform.  This year, EUR 7 million has been allocated the salary development programme of the municipality of Helsinki and EUR 4.5 million to the salary development programme of the social, health care and rescue services.

“I am proud and happy about our salary development programme, which enables the city to increase the salaries of our different personnel groups. The salary development programme has increased the salary of thousands of employees of the City of Helsinki every year since 2019,” says Mayor Juhana Vartiainen.

The salary increases are especially targeted at employees working with children and young people

This year, salary increases within the municipality of Helsinki salary development programme are given to early childhood education teachers, early childhood education S2 teachers (Finnish as a second language), early childhood education sociologists, early childhood education special needs teachers and rotating early childhood education special needs teachers, as a result of which the salary of almost 3,000 employees will increase by EUR 164.

In addition, approximately 300 youth counsellors in the Culture and Leisure Division will receive an average salary increase of EUR 75.

The salary development programme for the social, health and rescue sector targets social workers and senior social workers, child welfare supervisors, psychologists, senior and chief psychologists, as well as neuropsychologists. Pupil and student welfare psychologists and senior psychologists working in the Education Division also receive a salary increase. In these occupational groups, the increase is EUR 200 per employee. In addition, speech therapists receive an increase of EUR 300.

“The City’s salary development programme is a unique mechanism in the municipal sector for raising the salaries of different professionals. The increases make our salaries more competitive, which improves the quality of services we provide to the residents. This year’s increases cover, in particular, the personnel groups that work with children and young people,” says Petri Lumijärvi, HR Director.

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

The City of Helsinki’s salary development programme is part of the annual budget process. The aim is to increase the city’s attractiveness as an employer and systematically improve salary levels, especially in the occupational groups where the city faces challenges in obtaining skilled personnel. 

The programme was launched in 2019 as a response to these challenges, and the amount of funds available each year varies. The implementation of the salary development programme and the use of the appropriation is decided annually by the City Council.

Helsinki also invests in rewarding its employees

The city also rewards good work performance. Helsinki has allocated funds to the one-off bonuses to personnel, which can be distributed throughout the year. This year, 1.5% of the total annual salary sum has been reserved for one-off bonuses. This is 0.5 percentage points more than before.

This year will also bring general salary increases for all employees, in accordance with the collective agreement. The collective agreements also include annual locally agreed salary increases. The targeting of these increases is negotiated between the employer and employee organisations.

In addition to monetary salary, the entire personnel benefits from the city’s staff benefits. In addition to salary and possible bonuses, employees of the City of Helsinki receive extensive staff benefits, such as lunch, sports, cultural and commuting benefits, as well as sports and financial services for the personnel. We are a large employer and our employees benefit from our extensive investments in the quality of working life, such as well-being at work, personal development and training.