08.05.2008 - The State Forest Management Centre will transfer to new work organisation on 1 July 10.10

The State Forest Management Centre (RMK), which will transfer to a new work organisation on 1 July, has finished negotiations with all the 509 administrative employees in the forestry field. The offer to continue working in RMK was accepted by 316 people, 140 people have rejected the jobs offered them and 50 will go on old-age pension or early-retirement pension, 3 employees have found professional employment elsewhere.

As of today, RMK employs altogether 1081 people, of whom 933 are directly related to forestry. The on-going changes concern the 509 administrative employees who are currently working in RMK, of whom 316 will continue in RMK. Of those who wished to terminate the employment relationship, 15 will become undertakings, starting working as a partner of RMK, 3 have begun working in other state authorities. All the 332 forestry skilled workers of RMK will continue working. Of the foresters, the prevailing majority will continue working in RMK – of 60 employees, 51 accepted the challenge to work in the reorganised structure.

“Unfortunately, it has to be admitted that the interest in working in the forest was smaller than we expected and we still do not have enough forest workers,” Aigar Kallas, Chairman of Board of RMK, said. “Today, at least 500 more skilled forestry workers would find work in the state forest, if only there were interested persons.” There are also unoccupied jobs in the field of nursery and nature protection – for example, RMK is looking for a supervisor in Iisaku nursery, a manager of the nature centre in Nõva recreation area and a nature guard in the recreational area near Tallinn.

In collaboration with the Private Forest Centre foundation, RMK will organise an information day for its employees next week to introduce the employment possibilities in private forestry. “The Ministry of Environment and the Private Forest Centre have decided to substantially increase the support to private forestry,” Aigar Kallas said. “During the reorganisation, several current employees of RMK will find new employment in the support structures to be created for servicing private forest owners.”

To find new employees for making the forest work, RMK offers its employees several retraining possibilities. This week, the first 12-member group of harvester operators started retraining in Luua Forest School. The future forest workers of RMK and excursion leaders who will start working as partners of RMK will also receive retraining.

With regard to collective redundancy of employees, RMK will pay, in addition to compensations arising from law, also an additional compensation dependent on the length of employment of an employee in the amount of up to 2 months wages. Of the employees leaving RMK, those 50 who will go on the old-age pension or early retirement pension, RMK will pay compensation dependent on the length of employment in the amount of up to 9 months average wages. The employees who have less than two and a half years to go on old-age pension can remain on early retirement pension in RMK and they will be paid monthly support until becoming eligible for old-age pension.

In RMK, which will transfer to the new structure on 1 July this year, three units will start performing the duties imposed on the Estonian state forest manager: forest administration unit, forest management unit and timber distribution unit. Before the validation of the new structure, a pilot project was carried out from the beginning of the year until April, during which the planned work organisation was tested on the territory of seven forest districts in North-East Estonia. The results of the pilot project confirmed the higher effectiveness achieved by the new work organisation in managing the forest management work – the same volume of cutting was made with four times smaller number of supervisors as compared to the same period in the last year.

The forthcoming changes will not reduce in any manner the possibilities for forest holiday provided by RMK, based on everyone’s right; it is intended to invest more money for their continuing development. With the new structure, the number of employees in that field will grow by 18 people (current number of employees: 35), among other things, for example, 12 positions of nature guard and 5 positions of nature centre managers were created.

RMK is a profit-making state agency established under the Forestry Act, aimed at sustainable and efficient management of the state forest. In addition, RMK creates possibilities for spending forest holiday in the Estonian state forests and develops nature awareness. RMK manages 40% of the Estonian forests.

Additional information:

Aigar Kallas
Chairman of Board of RMK
+372 676 7299, +372 528 1299
e-mail: aigar.kallasrmk.ee