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Diak to start change negotiations

Diaconia University of Applied Sciences (Diak) will start change negotiations in accordance with the Co-operation Act. The negotiations have economic, production-related and re-organisational grounds. The target of the negotiations is the entire personnel, that is approximately 270 people.

The need for change is based on the negative turnaround of Diak’s operating profit. Based on this, the goal is to make savings of approximately three million euros by the end of 2026. Despite active and proactive measures, Diak’s economy still needs further reorganisation.

Over the past ten years, the global provisioning of Finnish universities of applied sciences has witnessed a significant decrease. Funding for degrees in healthcare and social services halved and global provisioning for Diak fell by a total of 33 per cent. In 2021, the funding declined further, when most of the degrees were placed in the lowest paying category in the funding model of the Ministry of Education and Culture. For Diak, the change in the provisioning has been quite challenging.

“Diak’s sustainable future requires tough solutions, too. We also need to safeguard the competitive advantage and quality of our operations as the number of degrees increases. We’re restructuring and renewing our higher education institution so that it can fulfil its social role even more effectively in the future,” says Elina Juntunen, Rector and CEO of Diak.

The change negotiations will include plans to reform organisational structures, develop operating models and reduce the number of personnel. The negotiations will address possible layoffs, as well as material changes to the terms of employment such as changes in the work tasks. If layoffs are necessary, the estimated reductions are approximately 40 person/years. This number and the allocation of possible discontinuities will be specified in the negotiations.

The employees’ representatives will negotiate the changes starting 18 April 2024. Diak will provide the personnel with briefings and, if necessary, support. During the change negotiations, studies and other activities at Diak will continue as planned with the least possible disruption.