Change Negotiations of the University of Turku Aim to Secure Continuity of Research and Education – Maritime Research Not at Risk
An action proposal is being prepared on the basis of the change negotiations and preparations related to the Financial Balancing Programme of the University of Turku. The University Board will probably discuss the proposal in its meeting on 14 February.
In its meeting on 28 October 2022, the University Board of the University of Turku decided on launching a long-term Financial Balancing Programme. The Board authorised the Rector to launch preparations for finding ways to correct the funding deficit of around €1.5–2 million during 2023 and, by 2028, a deficit of around €15 million in the basic missions. The deficit can be covered by both increasing the income and decreasing expenses.
The change negotiations started between the employer representatives and Chief Union Representatives on 17 November 2022. The last change negotiation meeting is planned for 25 January 2023.
The change negotiations and plans aim for a proposal that will be submitted to the University Board for approval in early February. The University Board will probably handle the proposal in its meeting on 14 February 2023.
According to Rector Jukka Kola, the negotiations have progressed in amicable spirit with the Chief Union Representatives. The meetings have included discussions on savings proposals made by the faculties and other units first on a general level and then unit-specifically.
Kola highlights that no decisions have been made regarding the research stations, individual professorships or the Rauma unit of the Department of Teacher Education that have been mentioned in the media. The University and the City of Rauma are currently discussing the development of the operations on the Rauma campus.
“I understand the concerns raised in the media extremely well. Our aim in the negotiations is to find sustainable proposals from the point of view of our basic missions of research and education for the University Board to decide,” says Kola and continues:
“For example, maritime research and education as well as operations related to biodiversity and sustainability on a larger scale are strategically important for the University. The current discussion is not about planning to close down these operations – instead, we examine how and where research and teaching could be realised as cost-effectively as possible while maintaining the best possible quality.”
The University has also held discussions with the University Foundation regarding the possibilities related to the premises at the Seili research station. The University Foundation and the University of Turku own Kiinteistö Oy Seili which owns the buildings at the Seili research station.
“Maintaining the premises and their value at Seili requires great investments, and therefore the goal of the University of Turku is to find the best possible solution that supports the cultural and historical significance of Seili. The current lease of the University is valid until the end 2027, which enables good planning and realisation of operations,” notes Kola.