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Brits in Finland - or anywhere else in Europe - the uncertain future

As we hurtle toward the UK election on 12th December with an outcome that is somewhat unpredictable but yet an outcome that may please no-one there are over 3 million people who may well be left in a potentially unpredicatble set of circumstances. These people, the EU citizens who have lived and worked in the UK legitimately under EU law and the British citizens who have used the same laws to settle in another EU state or work in different EU countries, may find their circumstances change in ways that are not conducive to feeling settled, safe, secure or even welcome.

One can only hope that in most countries, the right to stay, work, receive benefits and be unhindered will be honoured. In the UK, it looks like EU citizens who have registered as residents should have no problem - for now. The whole situation for both EU citizens and Brexpats could well unravel if, assuming a Conservative election victory, the transition period of departure from the EU results in a no-deal Brexit due to failure to agree a future relationship agreement with the EU. Some might argue that such a failure is exactly what some members of the Conservative government would like to achieve.

The establishment of an offshore Singapore-like aggressive economy toward Europe with a no-holds barred approach to regulation or dare one say "rights" could be just the recipe for a small and powerful sector of British society to become even richer than it is, while there would be the added "bonus" of being able to launch the kind of offensive against poorer citizens (everyone else) that would make Dickensian Britain look like Nirvana.

To dispose of the welfare state and citizens' rights in a way that makes everyone responsible for for assuring their own "wellbeing" might stir the juices of some of the hard right elite but one cannot help but feel that such a scenario would finally wake a majority of the British population from their media induced coma to demand change. One could hope this might then solve the problem - but one could equally have the feeling that such a revelation may come too late to roll back the power assumed - and executed - by what could well be a deeply authoritarian state. Up to now, you might say that this all tars the followers of the hard right. But would it also be fair to say that the deeply authoritarian state is also an ambition of the hard left? Whichever way you look at it, the liberal middle ground has lost a lot of appeal to those whose disillusion with everything that they feel has failed them, in favour of something that expresses their anger on a bigger scale, but which may ultimately hurt them even more.

In Finland we need to monitor the situation of Brexpats - so if you start receiving some unwelcome and unwarranted treatment from any area of officialdom on the basis of you being a Brexpat, let us know so that we can also help ask officials some awkward and embarrassing questions.

Some useful/thought provoking liks - please feel free to add more if you have some:

Does Migri have a defined policy for handling Brits which is in keeping with what their own officials have said (All Points North Podcast, Ilka Salmi 25.01.2019 https://areena.yle.fi/1-50043769 . The scene on the ground seems different to the ideals broadcast in the above programme.

Discrimination if you are a foreigner. Didn't get the job?

“If there’s a worker with a Finnish name, they'll probably be hired”

"It's a no-brainer": Can startups crack Finland's workplace diversity problem?

Proposal to ease recruitment of foreign workers riles Finland's unions

Wot - no Christmas party?

Unfortunately - as the social committee members have both been overworked in other areas and given that we had "minimal" attendance last year, we have been unable to organise the usual festive bash. Perhaps next year will be different. We may even organise a board meeting to make some plans.

In the meatime, here are the minutes of the AGM which was in May before we all disappeared into our own shells.

2019 AGM minutes - PAM-Lingua


Special board meeting

Candidate nomination meeting for the PAM Congress - June 2019

We made our points clearly

Members of the board met at Tietoranta on Friday 8th February to meet with Heidi Lehikoinen, an organisation manager from PAM. The discussion was, as expected, fairly robust, and some very important points were discussed concerning PAM's planned Target Programme and the position/treatment of PAM-Lingua members under the present systems of PAM with regard to such important matters as earnings-related unemployment benefits.

Daryl Taylor was nominated as the branch representative for the PAM Congress and has prepared a PAM-Lingua position statement for PAM which may lead to our presenting our position at the COngress or at least establishing recognition of the need for change in ther way we are viewed by PAM, along with a real wish to work with changes to the modes of working that are becoming more prevalent today. Needless to say, members of PAM-Lingua have been way ahead of PAM in the ways of working for a long time.

The position statement produced by Daryl can be read here.

And- did we ever get a reply?
Were our ideas on supporting people like private sector language teachers who may have multiple employers considered?
It would be good to know PAM's position - or is that just a bit too thorny to ask?

Don't forget to use Jobscene if you have a job to advertise that may be suited to our membership or if you - as a member - would like to promote your services - skills - availability - to the marketplace. We will be doing some more work on this but please join in to help promote the service.

Jobscene terms and conditions
Looking for previous content of the website?

Just go to: PAM-Lingua archive

Should you be a member?
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What services would you like to see most of all from your union?
Tell us!
email: board(at)pam-lingua.org

Board members:

Paul Allison

John Sigona - Vice-chair

Daryl Taylor - Treasurer

Paul Whybrow - Member

Questions, worries, comments, suggestions?

Just email us:  board(at)pam-lingua.org

Do we know where you are?

We now have email addresses for all bar 10 of our members. If you have been receiveing letters from us via snail post then we would recommend that you contact us at  board@pam-lingua.org with your email address. It is more efficient and economic if we can email you. If you do not wish to be contacted by email please let us know. We may not be able to provide all information to you by post but we will do our best to keep you informed.

Not sure if some immigrants may wish or be allowed to meet Santa.
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