Most people in paid employment in Finland are members of trade unions and of the relevant unemployment funds. The unionisation rate is close to 75 per cent and 95 per cent of all Finnish employees are covered by collective agreements, which have been bargained for by the trade unions. This figure is one of highest in the world.
The trade union is an organisation which represents the workers and its aim is to protect and improve the terms and conditions of work. Bargaining for sectoral collective agreements with the employers’ federations is the most important task for the trade unions. In addition, the trade unions ensure that the terms of the collective agreements are being honoured and they assist union members in dispute situations.
The Finnish Confederation of Professionals STTK
The Finnish Confederation of Professionals, STTK, is a central union organisation which represents the interests of a wide range of white collar workers, qualified professionals and specialists. There are 19 unions which are affiliated to STTK and the membership of these unions consists of different groups of workers such as nurses, engineers, office staff, bank clerks, IT consultants, members of the policeforce, firefighters, and administrators.
In addition to representing the interests of white collar workers, STTK, as a central union organisation, is an active pioneer in the world of work, a leader of social opinion, and it regularly takes part in public debates.
The STTK unions offer their membership to all white collar workers regardless of the level of their education. STTK represents all professional groups of workers: graduates and undergraduates of universities, of university technical schools, of polytechnics and of vocational colleges and institutes. The STTK affiliated unions have some 615,000 members in total.
Find out more: www.sttk.fi/english
The STTK Students Organisation is active both in the world of study and in the world of work; benefiting STTK with the views of the student population on one hand and presenting the world of work to the students on the other. STTK Students organises a variety of events every year for the student members of the STTK unions, and its aim is to provide employment-related information for the students. Most STTK affiliated unions have active student associations and it is easy to join them. It is worth becoming a member of a trade union even before you graduate, as union membership brings you many valuable benefits and security in the world of work.
Find out more: www.sttkopiskelijat.fi (in Finnish)