The Federation of Professional and Managerial Staff (YTN), the negotiation organisation for members of TEK and other Akava affiliates who work in the private sector, is opening negotiations on a new collective agreement for universities of applied sciences with the Finnish Education Employers (FEE).
FEE has invited YTN and the Trade Union of Education in Finland OAJ to represent the employee side in the negotiations. There are about 10 000 employees working at universities of applied sciences in Finland.
The teachers, specialists and supervisors employed by universities of applied sciences have not had their own collective agreement in the past. They have been employed under the general collective agreement for the private teaching sector, but YTN is not a contracting party of this agreement. This has meant, among other things, that the members of YTN affiliates, including TEK, have not necessarily had a shop steward who represents them locally and whom they can turn to for help.
“This is an extremely positive development! We have a lot of members who work in teaching, research and development roles at universities of applied sciences. We are now involved in negotiating a separate agreement for them,” says TEK's Labour Market Director and Chair of YTN Teemu Hankamäki.
The aim is to finalise the collective agreement as soon as possible, in early 2024 at the latest. The first official negotiation date has not been set yet, but it has been discussed. The current collective agreement for the private teaching sector will expire in March, and the idea is to have a separate agreement for the staff of universities of applied sciences by then.
“The contents of the new collective agreement will most likely differ from the collective agreements for the industry sector, because universities of applied sciences form a category of their own. We aim to negotiate the best possible agreement for them,” says YTN’s Negotiations Manager Petteri Oksa.
Private teaching sector operations started at YTN in August 2022. The person in charge of the contract branch at YTN is Harri Westerlund. Collective agreements include, for instance, terms governing paid family leave, holiday bonus, general increases to salaries, compensation for travelling expenses and travel time and paid sick leave. These terms are not determined by law.