What does the Union do?

It is normal for employees to belong to trade unions in Finland. You are also welcome to become one of more than two million members in Finnish trade union movement. 
Finland´s trade unions have helped to establish a system of basic rights that projects employees in the event of unemployment or illness and that secures their standard of living in old age.
The main work of the trade unions nowadays is to negotiate collective agreements establishing rates of pay, working hours, holidays and other terms of employment in spesific industries. Contrary to popular belief, there is no statutory minimum wage in Finland. Instead, the minimum wages and pay scales applied in various industries are specified in the relevant collective agreements.

1) The Finnish Union of University Professors looks after the interests of its members.

– The Union supervises and promotes the interests of its members in matters related to pay and compensation as well as issues associated with employment relations, work content and duties. The Union provides members with counselling related to employment relations and legal aid.
– The Union keeps its members informed about topical affairs in the spheres of university, science and research policy as well as personnel policy developments.
– The Union has made preparations for providing financial assistance to its members in the event of a labour market conflict.

2) Local Union branches provide a forum for interaction between members.

– A local Union branch provides a key university personnel group, the professors, a forum for regular mutual communication. In addition to ordinary meetings, branches organise other events and activities as well.
– There is a dedicated national branch for research institute employees, but they can also attend the events of local branches.

3) Local Union branches create an environment where members can wield influence.

– The university reform has led to the removal of representative administrative bodies from the different organisational levels of universities. Accordingly, the local Union branches have taken on an even more pronounced role as communities, through which members can wield influence. Local branches also look after the interests of the professors employed at their respective universities and engage university management in dialogue. The branch for research institute employees correspondingly looks after the interests of members working at these institutes.

4) The Finnish Union of University Professors is more than a trade union.

The Finnish Union of University Professors is responsible for an extensive set of duties, which go beyond the promotion of members’ immediate interests:
– The Union promotes the freedom of research and education, lobbies for improved prerequisites for research and education as well as for the continuous development of universities and research institutions.
– The Union works to promote interaction between the scientific community and the rest of society.

5) The Finnish Union of University Professors influences society and societal decision-making.

– The strong competence and distinguished status of its members makes The Union an important contributor to social decision-making.
– The Union comments on topical issues related to science and research policy. It is an active initiator and participant in debate concerning universities, higher education and the funding of science and research.
– The Union regularly engages political decision-makers, university management and other influential people in the science, research and innovation sector in discussions, which contribute to its monitoring and promotion of the interests of its membership as well as of the entire university and research institute field.

The Union is heard by the different Parliamentary committees on legislative proposals concerning the universities.The Union statements can be found on the Union website. Additionally, the Union organises regular discussion events on topical scientific and university-related issues for the Parliamentary Education and Culture Committee, and for the Finance Committee’s Subcommittee for Education and Science.Union representatives participate in discussions at Tutkas events for Parliament members and scientists. Members of Parliament participate in the Union seminars by invite.Additionally, the Union actively provides relevant information to Parliamentary members.Union press releases and the Actatiimi magazine are sent to the individual members of the Parliamentary Education and Culture Committee as well as to the members of the Finance Committee’s Subcommittee for Education and Science.

6) The Finnish Union of University Professors is a participant in effective networks.

– The membership of the Union consists of professors as well as other people who work in executive positions in the fields of research, education, research administration and scientific/artistic organisations. This means that the Union is well networked and a strong source of influence on Finnish society.
– The Union works in close cooperation and interaction with other professional organisations that function in universities and research institutions.

7) The Finnish Union of University Professors is an international actor.

– The Union belongs to several international education and research organisations. The Union monitors international trends in universities, institutes of higher learning and research policy, and maintains contact with other international actors.

8) The Finnish Union of University Professors represents a profession that is of key significance to the success of universities and research institutions.

– Professors are the only profession employed by universities that are mentioned in the Universities Act.
– Professors are the highest-trained professional group in universities and other research organisations. Separate salary categories have been created for them in the university pay system because of their level of education, competence and responsibility.
– Professors work in management positions at universities and other research organisations. They thus bear a greater responsibility for the activities and development of these organisations and communities than the other personnel groups do.
– University professors and people who work in corresponding research management positions are an international profession. They form an international community with similar competence requirements, employment duties and responsibilities in different countries.