Trade Unions

  Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff in Finland AKAVA: 

AKAVA Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff in Finland is a politically independent trade union confederation for those with a university, professional or other high level education. Akava is continuously growing and has more than 35 affiliates with altogether 570 000 members working as employees, entrepreneurs and self-employed professionals. The members join one of Akava’s affiliates based on their field of study, degree, profession or position. Membership is not dependent on a specific workplace. If you change jobs, you can continue your membership in an affiliate.

Also those with high-level education join a trade union inFinland. More than 80 percent of Akava members have completed at least the lower university degree. The members of all Akava affiliates typically serve in management or expert positions in fields such as education, technology or medicine. Half of the membership works in the private sector, half in the public sector. 52 % are women. Akava also has 100,000 student members.

In Finland, labour market organisations 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.


 Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions

The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions – SAK is the oldest employee confederation inFinland. Founded in 1907, it has looked after the interests of employees for a century. SAK is a confederation of 21 trade unions in industry, public sector, transport and private services. These unions have a total of more than one million members, and promoting the emotional and material welfare of these individuals is the prime concern of SAK. This makes SAK the largest lobbying organisation inFinland. Through international organisations and other contacts, SAK is an active lobbyist for the common interests of employees throughout the world and for improved co-ordination and partnership of trade unions globally.

The members of SAK-affiliated trade unions work in a wide range of occupations. For example, local authority childminders, flight attendants, bus drivers, waiters, builders and paper mill employees are all working in sectors organised under the broad SAK umbrella. Just under half of the members of SAK-affiliated unions work in industry, about one third work in private services and one quarter work in the public sector. About a quarter of these members are under 35 years of age. 46 per cent of the total membership of SAK-affiliated unions are women.


sttk The Finnish Confederation of Professionals STTK:

Union density in Finland is high. It is about 70 %. Finnish Confederation of Professionals (STTK) is one of the three Finnish confederations and organizes well educated employees in all sectors, altogether about 600 000 members through 18 unions. Typical member groups are nurses, practical nurses, engineers, police officers, secretaries and bank employees.

More than 70 % of STTK members are women. In Finland it is common that both men and women work outside the home. Gender equality in Finland is quite good, but income gaps exist. STTK works for eliminating unjustified pay differentials between women and men. Everyone must be aware of the grounds for their pay. Fair treatment of all employees is important, not only in Finland but also globally. STTK unions negotiate binding collective agreements for their members, whereas STTK influences in labour and social legislation and improves working life at tripartite level.