From being heard to influencing? Community as a resource

Members are the resource that ultimately determines the effectiveness of union actions.

translation marko saajanaho

The current difficulties in the job market pose a challenge to our members – what will be the effect of the planned deteriorations, and what kind of organisational action is considered motivating by the members? What means of influence are our members using?

Someone serving in an expert job may feel these deteriorations do not concern their work. After all, they do not get sick during working hours, their salary is just a nice bonus on top of an interesting job, and fixed-term contracts have also continued more or less constantly. However, it is never advantageous for labour when legislation gets involved with job market models – thus, unions have also begun to take action to address these.

The need to be heard is a fundamental human need. It is crucial for the unions to hear and listen to what their members have to say about their working conditions, well-being at work, and their employment relationships. Through local active voices, we gain valuable information about the conditions, but it is equally important to reach the regular members and ask directly what they are thinking and how they want to influence the union’s causes.

Occasionally, an individual in an expert job may operate under the delusion that they are on a level playing field in negotiations with their employer, or that the terms of their employment contract would in fact be negotiated. This is rarely, if ever, the case in the university sector. That is why the steward, legal, and working life services provided by the union are so valuable. Together, we are stronger.

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