Name and domicile
The name of the registered association is the Finnish Union of University Professors. Within these bylaws, the association is referred to as the Union. The Union’s domicile is the City of Helsinki and its activities are nationwide.
Object and scope of operations
The Union functions as a professional link and collective bargaining organisation for teachers and researchers employed by the universities mentioned in the Universities Act (558/2009) as well as by the National Defence University and research institutions. Its purpose is to supervise and promote members’ shared economic, social and other employment-related benefits, support their scientific and professional pursuits and uphold and further their social status and regard.
The Union promotes the research work and educational activities of universities and research institutions as well as monitors the freedom of research and education, observes how the preconditions for education and research are maintained and improved, safeguards the continuous development of the university institution and works to facilitate interaction between the scientific community and the rest of society.
To promote the realisation of its intentions, the Union drafts proposals and initiatives, issues statements, organises training, negotiation and communication events, engages in publishing activities and cooperation with other organisations in the research and education sector, awards grants to research activities that support the Union’s intentions as well as represents its members in collective bargaining negotiations and concludes agreements on their part.
The Union may seek membership in domestic and international organisations and organs that enable it to promote Union aims.
The Union has regular, supporter and honorary members.
Regular membership is open to university professors or other researchers and educators, who hold a comparable position, as well to registered associations that strive for similar aims as the Union. The Union’s Board of Directors accepts regular members, although associations seeking regular membership need to be accepted by the Union Council. Attained membership privileges will be retained in the event of an amendment to the bylaws.
Persons employed in a research or education function by a university as well as organisations with legal capacity may join the Union as supporter members. The Union’s Board of Directors accepts supporter members.
A person who has promoted the Union’s aims in a substantial manner can be invited to an honorary membership at the proposal of the Union’s Board of Directors. The Union’s Council invites honorary members.
Resignation and expulsion of members
A member can resign from the Union by submitting a written resignation notification to the Union’s Board of Directors or its Chair or by making a verbal resignation that is recorded into the minutes of a Union meeting. The resignation will take effect 30 days after it is submitted. Members lose all of their Union privileges upon resignation.
The Union’s Board of Directors can expel a member who has acted in a manner contrary to the Union’s aims or who fails to comply with the decisions made by the Union’s organs or who neglects to pay the membership fee or support fund fee. A member is entitled to have the Union’s Council rule on an expulsion decision by submitting a written request for rectification to the Board of Directors within 30 days of receiving notice of an expulsion decision.
Membership fees and support fund fees
Regular members and supporter members are both required to pay to the Union an annual membership fee and a support fund fee, the amount of which are determined separately for each membership category at the autumn meeting of the Union’s Council. The support fund fee may at most match the amount of the annual membership fee.
The Board of Directors is entitled to exempt a member from the requirement to pay the membership fee and support fund fee in part or fully because of leave of absence, engagement in overseas research work, illness or other comparable reason.
Honorary members are not required to pay membership fees or support fund fees.
The Council and the General Meeting are the Union’s decision-making organs. The Board of Directors is the executive organ.
The Board of Directors may appoint standing or ad hoc committees to work under it in order to provide assistance for specific tasks.
To conduct its internal activities, the Union is divided into university-specific or university-group-specific regional, unregistered local branches.
A nationwide branch may also be established to serve members who are unable to join university-specific local branches. A nationwide branch may only be established if it will consist of at least 30 members.
A member may only belong to one branch at a time. A regular member who is employed by a university shall be considered a member of the local branch established for his or her respective university unless the member declares otherwise.
Branches must submit their bylaws to the Union’s Board of Directors for confirmation. The Board of Directors may delegate to branches tasks that are associated with the supervision of its memberships’ regional interests.
The Union’s General Meeting is held every second year, in October at the earliest and by the end of December at the latest. The Board of Directors will convene the General Meeting by e-mailing or mailing an invitation to each member at least two weeks prior to the date of the meeting.
Each regular member is entitled to vote at the Union’s General Meeting. Each member present is entitled to cast his or her own vote as well a maximum of 5 votes using a letter of attorney. No one may, however, cast any votes that exceed one-fifth of the entire number of votes represented at the General Meeting.
Supporter and honorary members have the right to be present and speak at the Union’s General Meeting, but they are not entitled to vote. The General Meeting will elect a Chair and other officials necessary for the conduct of the meeting from among its own number.
Apart from when proposed by the Board of Directors, the Union must call an Extraordinary General Meeting when at least 1/10 of the Union’s regular members or at least 1/10 of all members submit a written request to the Board of Directors for the intention of deliberating one or several proposals, which are detailed in the request. The Board of Directors will convene the Extraordinary General Meeting by e-mailing or mailing an invitation to each member at least two weeks prior to the date of the meeting.
If the Board of Directors so decides, members can participate in a Union meeting remotely through a data connection or other technical solution available during the meeting.
Matters to be dealt with by the Union’s General Meeting
The Union’s General Meeting
- deliberates on annual reports, which are drafted by the Board of Directors
- elects the Chair and Vice Chair of the Union’s Council as well as appoints the regular members and alternate members of the Union’s Council, and
- deliberates on other matters put forth in the invitation to the General Meeting.
The Council’s spring meeting is held annually by the end of June and the autumn meeting annually in October at the earliest and by no later than the end of December. The Board of Directors will convene the Council by e-mailing an invitation to each Council member at least two weeks prior to the date of the meeting.
The Council consists of the Chair, Vice Chair, regular members and alternate members. Council members shall be elected so that each branch is represented by one regular member and two personal alternate members per each beginning hundred (100) Union members of the branch in question.
The Chair, Vice Chair, regular members and alternate members of the Council shall be regular Union members. If the Chair, Vice Chair, a regular member or alternate member of the Council is elected to be the Chair, Vice Chair or regular member of the Board of Directors of the Union, they cannot serve as Council members at the same time.
Council members are elected for two-year terms at the Union’s General Meeting.
The Council has quorum when at least 1/3 of its regular or alternate members are present.
Apart from when proposed by the Board of Directors, the Union must call an Extraordinary Council Meeting when at least 1/3 of the Council's members submit a written request to the Board of Directors for the purpose of deliberating one or several proposals detailed in the request.
The call for an Extraordinary Council Meeting must be e-mailed to each Council member at least seven days prior to the date of the meeting. When making decisions regarding the initiation of strikes or other industrial actions, or the cessation of a strike or other industrial action, or in other especially urgent matters, a meeting can, however, be called no less than one day prior to its date by sending a meeting invitation in the aforementioned manner.
If the Board of Directors so decides, members can participate in a Council meeting remotely through a data connection or other technical solution available during the meeting.
The Council may conduct a consultative ballot of Union members.
Matters to be dealt with by the Council
The Union Council exercises power of decision over all matters that are not, according to these bylaws, to be decided by the Union’s General Meeting.
The Council decides on the initiation of strikes and other industrial actions. The Council can determine a set of conditions under which the Board of Directors can decide on the initiation of strikes and other industrial actions. When deciding on the initiation of strikes or other industrial actions, the Council may in the same conjunction decide that the power of decision regarding the cessation of the strike or industrial action rests with the Council.
The Council’s spring meeting will
- deliberate on the review of operations, which the Board of Directors drafts to describe the Union’s activities in the previous year
- decide on the number of members of the Board of Directors and number of Vice Chairs for each term
- present the auditor and performance auditor’s report
- confirm the financial statements and decide on discharging from liability, and
- deal with the other matters that may have been prepared by the Board of Directors as well as matters, which have been proposed to the Board of Directors by at least five members or a Union branch no less than one month prior to the date of the meeting.
The Council’s autumn meeting will
- decide on the amount of the following year’s membership fees and support fund fees
- determine the pay, meeting compensation and travel expenses of people holding positions of trust with the Union as well as the remuneration of auditors
- elect a Chair and a Vice Chair / Vice Chairs for the Board of Directors; these individuals are referred to as the Union Chair and Union Vice Chair / Union Vice Chairs, respectively
- elect regular members and alternate members of the Board of Directors
- draft a budget for the subsequent year of operations complete with explanations
- appoint an auditor and an alternate auditor as well as a performance auditor and alternate performance auditor for the subsequent year of operations
- approve the Board of Directors’ plan for developing the Union’s operations in the coming year, and
- deliberate on other matters that may have been prepared by the Board of Directors as well as matters, which have been proposed to the Board of Directors by at least five members or a Union branch no less than one month prior to the date of the meeting.
Board of Directors
The Union’s Board of Directors consists of the Chair and 1–2 Vice Chairs as well as at least six (6) and at most eight (8) other regular members and their personal alternate members, all of whom are elected to serve for a two-year term. The Chair, Vice Chair, regular members and alternate members of the Board shall be regular Union members.
The Chair and Vice Chair / Vice Chairs and the other regular members and alternate members of the Board of Directors are elected by the Council’s autumn meeting.
Apart from the Chair and Vice Chair / Vice Chairs, half of the regular members and alternate members are up for resignation each year. If the size of the Board of Directors is altered, the turn for resignations will be settled by lot.
The uninterrupted term of office of regular members as well as the Chair and Vice Chair in their respective posts may last no more than six (6) years.
If the Chair, Vice Chair, other regular member or alternate member resigns or is dismissed before completing his or her term of office, the subsequent Council meeting shall elect a new person to finish the term.
The Board of Directors shall convene when called by the Chair or Vice Chair; they shall do so if they consider it necessary or if at least two members of the Board so demand. The Board of Directors has quorum when the Chair, or if he or she is unable to attend, the Vice Chair and at least half of the other members of the Board are present at the meeting. If the Chair is present, the Vice Chair shall be considered as a regular member of the Board of Directors when determining the quorum of the Board of Directors.
Tasks of the Board of Directors
The Board of Directors exercises executive power on behalf of the Union.
The Board of Directors is tasked with
- preparing matters for deliberation at Union and Council meetings and for convening these meetings
- when necessary, naming an election committee to prepare for the appointments to be made by a Union meeting
- implementing the decisions made at meetings
- administering the Union’s funds and assets and delivering an account of these activities to the Council’s spring meeting
- drafting annual reports for presentation to the Union’s General Meeting and the Council’s spring meeting
- drafting a financial plan for the upcoming year and a plan for developing the Union’s activities to be presented to the Council’s autumn meeting
- deciding on the approval or rejection of collective bargaining agreements; a decision to launch a strike or other industrial action is, however, taken by the Council unless it has assigned power of decision in such matters to the Board of Directors
- deciding on the cessation of a strike or other industrial action if the Council has not assumed power of decision on the matter.
The Board of Directors is responsible for establishing Union positions and determines the tasks of appointed officials. The Board hires and dismisses officials and determines their pay. The Board is also entitled to establish positions of trust within the Union.
Signing for the Union
The Chair and Vice Chair are authorised to sign for the Union both together or either one of them together with the Executive Director or a Board-appointed official.
In addition to fees collected from its members, the Union may amass funds through donations, fund-raising campaigns, lotteries and the organisation of parties.
The Union Council can authorise the establishing of funds and foundations. The Union may procure and own real estate and shares.
Operating and financial year
The Union’s operating and financial year is the calendar year. The Union’s accounts must be submitted to the auditors by 15 March. The auditors’ reports must be submitted to the Board of Directors two weeks prior to the Council’s spring meeting.
Amending the bylaws
The Union’s General Meeting may amend these bylaws if at least 2/3 of the votes cast are in favour of such action. Bylaw amendment proposals must be deliberated at a Council meeting prior to this.
Dissolution of the Union
The decision to dissolve the Union must be made by two Union meetings held at an interval of at least one month with at least a 2/3 majority of votes cast favouring dissolution. A dissolution proposal must be deliberated at a meeting of the Council before it is brought up in a Union General Meeting.
If the Union is dissolved, its assets must be spent to further the Union’s aims in a manner determined by the final General Meeting of the Union.
Minutes will be recorded on the Union’s General Meetings as well as on the meetings of the Council and the Board of Directors; these minutes shall be checked and stored with appropriate diligence.
Meetings shall apply the majority rule to their decision-making, unless otherwise stated in these bylaws. If the vote is split equally, the Chair’s vote shall determine the outcome. If at least two members so demand, the ballot must be secret. If the votes are split equally in this case, the outcome shall be determined by lot.
The Rules of Procedure and Elections approved by the Council shall be observed in all meetings.
Entered into the Register of Associations on October 14, 2022.