Recruitment pause in the University of Helsinki
The University of Helsinki has set a freeze on hiring for administrative staff, IT staff, library staff, technical staff, and support personnel for teaching and research.
The hiring freeze is the University’s response to the tightened economy and the cutbacks in the state’s university funding for 2013. In order not to break next year’s budget, it is crucial to find ways to cut back on the current personnel costs.
”The university focuses all of its efforts into avoiding any temporary or permanent lay-offs, which could arise from the economic circumstances,” says Rector Thomas Wilhelmsson.
”The aim of the recruitment freeze is that all the necessary personnel cuts can be achieved through natural personnel flow. It means that, for instance, retiring employees will not be automatically replaced.”
Key positions continue to be filled
The hiring freeze applies to all recruitments, including temporary employment, such as maternity and family leave substitutes. It also effects the continuation of fixed-term employment contracts.
”When it comes to key positions, where the pause on recruiting would cause unreasonable harm, an exception can be granted for the recruitment. The decision on these will be made by the Director of Administration,” says Kira Ukkonen, Director of Human Resources.
Short internships with a fixed-term contract will not require a special permit. In those units, where part of the work has traditionally been paid by hourly-fee, the same practice can continue.
The university level hiring freeze does not apply to teaching and research staff, but the need for its recruitment must also be thought through carefully in each unit. It is up to the Deans to decide on any possible faculty-level recruitment bans.
More collaboration between units
As the number of staff decreases, the way in which work is organised must be thought through case by case. It is a challenge to the supervisors as well as the whole work community to think about how work may be organised in the new situation, and to decide which tasks could possibly be left for later.
Kira Ukkonen is sympathetic, but also hopes that despite the difficult situation the university community can be as open as possible to the new arrangement.
“The aim is also to advance cooperation between different units in getting the work done. When a position is opened, it may be possible to fill it with another employee from within the University. This may open up new opportunities for employees to engage in job rotation. To advance this, support will be provided by the Human Resources and Legal Affairs sector.”
The hiring freeze is valid until further notice, and its effects will be closely monitored.
Director of Human Resources, Kira Ukkonen
Puh. 191 22540
From 16 July: Director of Administration, Esa Hämäläinen
Puh. 191 22212
The Rector’s decision on the hiring freeze (in Finnish) paatos: https://alma.helsinki.fi/download/2000000199578/paatos_120_15062012_rekrytointikiellon_kayttoon_ottaminen.pdf