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FSD2411 Working Conditions in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland 2007

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Authors

  • Ala-Kokkila, Kari (Labour Market Organisation of the Church)
  • Antell, Annina (Union of Church Employees in Finland (SVTL))
  • Laaksonen, Vuokko (Union of Church Employees in Finland (SVTL))
  • Marttila, Oili (Labour Market Organisation of the Church)
  • Palmu, Harri (Research Institute of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland)
  • Tamminen, Hannu (Centre for Occupational Safety)
  • Ylitalo, Marko (Statistics Finland)

Keywords

absenteeism (work), assault, church, discrimination, fatigue (physiology), job characteristics, job satisfaction, occupational life, occupational safety, peer-group relationship, supervisors, working conditions, workplace relations

Abstract

Working conditions in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland were charted for the fourth time in 2007. The earlier surveys were conducted in 2001, 2003, and 2005 (not archived at the FSD). Working conditions were studied from several angles, for instance the safety of work, the security of employment, the reasonableness of requirements, possibilities to influence and develop oneself, functioning of organisation, social relations, manager work, ability to work, and motivation.

The respondents were queried when they received information on various changes related to their work, whether they were allowed to use their abilities and professional skills in their work, whether their work offer them possibilities to develop themselves, whether their job was secured, and how difficult it was to achieve work-life balance. In addition, the physical and mental demands of work were charted.

Maintenance of working ability was investigated by asking the respondents whether there had been systematic attempts to influence the employees' condition, health, way of life, know-how, developing possibilities, and the safety of job environment in the workplace. They also assessed their current ability to work. Working hours were canvassed by questions on working overtime and compensation (extra payment, time off work) received from it if any. The respondents were asked whether they had weekly days off work they could not take, whether their working days were overlong, whether their leisure was fragmented because of work, and whether working on evenings and weekends disturbs their family life.

The respondents were asked whether they appreciated their work, whether they felt they were appreciated by their employer. In addition, the fairness of their wage compared to other professions was surveyed, as well as education provided by the employer and the respondents' participation in it.

Social relations in the workplace and the managers' actions were charted with a set of attitudinal statements on support and encouragement received from managers and co-workers, and conflicts, intoxicant problems and bullying in the workplace. The respondents were asked to name those who had bullied someone. In addition, they were asked whether they had sought help because of possible bullying, and if yes, from where. Perceptions or personal experiences of discrimination based on age, gender, ordination of women, employee groups, or religiosity in the workplace were canvassed. Manager work was charted by several statements on managers.

Views were also probed on dangerous things related to the respondents' work, such as danger of accidents, severe exhaustion, disturbance of mental health, repetitive strain injury, infectious diseases, and becoming victims of violence or threat of violence in the workplace. Absence from work because of illness was queried, and whether the reason for the absence has been tiredness, exhaustion or burnout.

The respondents were asked how likely it was that they would work for other employer than a church or congregation in 5 years. Opinions were charted on various measures that would help people stay in working life longer, such as more flexible working hours, developing occupational health care, improving job environment, improving possibilities for rehabilitation, increasing wage, reducing workload and stress, increasing possibilities for education, improving management, job rotation leave, saved leave, and part-time pension. Satisfaction with present job was studied, as well as whether the respondents worked in managerial position.

Background variables included the respondent's gender, type of work, whether R is under the law on working hours, type of contract, age group (classified in three different ways), size of congregation, and size of workplace. Background variables have been collected from the registers of the Labour Market Organisation of the Church.

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