Defending your interests

HUART is The Union at the University of Helsinki! HUART defends your rights and safeguards your interests in collective agreement talks at the University. When you have questions and concerns, shop stewards are easy to contact.

HUART safeguards your interests and offers advice

  • lobbies for your interests
  • offers guidance in terms of employment
  • salary advice
  • legal advice
  • support from the unemployment fund

Read more on HUART’s:

Shop Stewards
Collective labour agreement
Industrial action ability

Shop Stewards

According to agreements from the 1980s, HUART used to have its own shop stewards and other Akava members at the University had their own. Since 2011 all shop stewards function under the same system, namely JUKO , the Public Sector Negotiating Commission. See more about JUKO below.

Current shop stewards have been elected by campus. Each campus has a vice head shop steward, who is a kind of a general shop steward named for the campus.

Which shop steward should I turn to?

The basic idea of the campus-based system is that a member of any JUKO-related association may turn first to a shop steward who represents her faculty, department or subject, because this shop steward probably is well acquainted with the unit in question.

You may just as well turn to a shop steward who represents your association or union.  Shop stewards have agreed that if a specific dispute concerns the shop steward’s own unit, s/he may disqualify her/himself from it and transfer it to someone else.

JUKO union representatives from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2020

Contact at: hyt-paaluottamusmies(at)

Chief union representative
Univeristy Researcher Pirkko Hölttä 
Union of Professionals in Natural, Environmental and Forestry Sciences Loimu

Chief union representative
University Instructor Tiina Niklander
Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers (HUART)

Chief union representative
Professor Per Saris
Finnish Union of University Professors

Chief union representative
University Lecturer Seppo Sainio   
Trade Union of Education OAJ

List of campus shop stewards can be found at this Flamma page:

What is JUKO?

The Public Sector Negotiating Commission (JUKO) is the main negotiation organisation of state, municipal and church employees, and it safeguards the interests of over 200 000 employees.

JUKO looks after the legal, professional, economic and social interests of its members. It is a coalition of organisations representing academically educated professionals working in the public sector.

As a national main negotiating organisation, JUKO has represented public sector and comparable Akava members in collective labour agreement talks since 1995. These talks concern collective regulations on salaries and other terms of employment.
FUURT is a part of JUKO through Akava.

Collective labour agreement

The new collective labour agreement applied in the university sector is negotiated by JUKO, Pardia ry, JHL (represent employees) and Sivistystyönantajat ry (represents employers).

The new collective agreement for the universities is valid February 1.2018-March 31.2020.

See the collective agreement in nutshell in English at JUKO’s page here.

Industrial action ability

The Helsinki University Researchers and Teachers Association seeks to defend the interests of its members primarily by negotiating and lobbying. However, there are situations when this is not enough. This is a time when industrial action may take place.

What do we need industrial action ability for?

  • For talks between the employer and us – part of negotiation
  • To support the negotiators
  • To influence the adversary and to add credibility
  • To improve the agreement under negotiation
  • First we negotiate, influence public opinion, work together… if this does not help, collective force may be used to add pressure
  • Ability for collective action must be constant and action must take place quickly

If the need for industrial action prevails, HUART acts at the University of Helsinki as part of JUKO and according to the instructions given by Helsinki University Strike Committee. Panu Minkkinen is the leader of JUKO industrial action if needed.

JUKO’s division of tasks in industrial action:

  • The unions and JUKO are primarily responsible for updating members on the goals, progress and results of the talks.
  • HUART is responsible for warning its members to prepare for industrial action and for giving practical instructions.
  • FUURT pays a (small) strike compensation to its members and is responsible for the cost organising the strike. HUART has also accumulated an industrial action fund from membership payments.

Communicating effectively is of prime importance in industrial action and this is why local strike organisations must have up-to-date email lists of their members. For this purpose, too, please update your details always when they change.

Form of industrial action

The university advisory board decides on the form of industrial action to be taken. After we became employees instead of civil servants due to the university reform, there are different forms of industrial action available. Possible forms of industrial action include:

  • strike
  • partial refusal to work
  • overtime ban
  • slower pace of work (so called “Italian strike”)
  • mass resignation

The form of action to be taken is evaluated according to how it is seen to impact university functions, the employer, students and the greater public. Industrial action must be legitimated by both the organisation and its members.

If we set realistic targets we can stand behind them and keep up a strike spirit if needed!

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