An important function of Finnish trade unions is to run unemployment funds and to provide earnings-related unemployment benefits. These are typically much higher than the basic unemployment allowance provided by KELA.
Finnish unions are occupation-based. There are three main levels:
- local trade unions
- national federations of local trade unions
Collective agreements covering the whole workforce are concluded between the federations. Labour market organisations SAK,STTK and AKAVA have a great deal of influence. Negotiations on salaries, wages and labour legislation are conducted between the government and the representatives of employees’ and employers’ organisations, which is referred to as the tripartite system.
Top reasons for joining unions are security, better terms and conditions of employment for everyone, advice and legal aid, improved benefits in case of unemployment and discounts and special leisure time benefits.
Following unions are represented or a have local unions in UTU and ÅAU:
The Finnish Union of University Professors (FUUP) (Professoriliitto/Professorsförbundet)
Researchers and Teachers
Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers (FUURT)
FUURT has a Special group for International Researchers
Membership benefits for FUURT members
Informaatioalan Akateemiset/Academiska Informationsspecialister (in Finnish)
The Finnish Union of University Lecturers (Yliopiston opetusalan liitto/Förbundet för undervisningssektorn vid universiteten)
Academic Engineers and Architects in Finland (Tekniikan Akateemiset/ Teknikens Akademikerförbunds)
The Association of Finnish University and Research Establishment Staff (Yliopistojen ja tutkimusalan henkilöstöliitto/Universitetens och forskningsektorns personalförbund YHL ry)
There are also some unions that only have representation in either UTU or ÅAU
Laboratorie- och överingenjörerna vid Universiteten r.f. (ÅAU) / Laboratory- and headengineers at the University
Turun yliopiston ammattiosasto JHL 631 ry (UTU), www.turunyliopistonammattiosasto631.jhlyhdistys.fi/
LAL, the Finnish Union of Experts in Science (Tieteentekijöiden liitto/ Akademiska Naturvetarförbundet) (UTU), www.luonnontieteilijat.fi
Open to all employees - independent unemployment fund.