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Why should I join a trade union?

Nuori nainen hymyilee, vaaleanpunainen tausta

Why should I join a trade union?

Trade union is a safety net for employees. It safeguards your rights and helps you to succeed in your career. Union membership includes also earnings-related unemployment security, which provides higher allowances than basic unemployment security, should you become unemployed.

We at Trade Union Pro want our members to earn and live well. Our main goal is to promote the employment and career development of our members. In addition to collective labor agreements, we also negotiate benefits to our members. Trade Union Pro is one of the largest unions in Finland. We welcome all employees as our members, irrespective of their profession, educational background or field of work.
Aikuinen kalju mies hymyilee, kertoo luottamushenkilöistä, sininen tausta
What is a collective agreement and why is it so important?
Aikuinen kalju mies hymyilee, kertoo luottamushenkilöistä, sininen tausta

A collective agreement is an agreement entered between a trade union and employer union concerning the terms of employments followed in the field. Collective agreements determine, for instance, minimum salaries, working time as well as various wage supplements and bonuses.

Trade unions negotiate collective agreements and monitor the terms of employment. Building a collective agreement starts already at individual workplaces, where union members have a say in what should be included in the agreement. When a sufficient number of employees belong to a union, it is able to negotiate a fair deal and decent salaries for everyone.

Even though Finnish law has provisions concerning terms and conditions of employment, collective agreements guarantee significantly more extensive security and higher benefits than what the law says. For example, in Finland the minimum salary is not determined by the law, but rather by collective agreements. If there is no collective agreement, the employer can dictate the level of salaries they are paying to their employees. This might not be in the best interest of those receiving the salary.

Collective agreements determine also wage supplements and holiday bonuses as well as a longer paid sick leave than what is determined by the Finnish law. In addition, collective agreements guarantee 3 months of paid maternity leave and allowances for work-related travel, none of which is mentioned in the Finnish law.

There are plenty of other examples. Whereas the law often deals with general issues, every industry has their own collective agreement, which allows them to pay attention to the specific features and needs of a given industry. When thousands of professionals belong to a trade union, the union has significantly more power to negotiate than an individual employee. Would you have the know-how and courage to negotiate your own terms of employment?

Click here for more information on the collective agreements negotiated by Trade Union Pro

Collective agreement vs law comparison
Aikuinen mies, puhelin, sovellus, sininen tausta
Trade union helps in jobseeking and career progression
Aikuinen mies, puhelin, sovellus, sininen tausta

Membership in Trade Union Pro also includes membership in Unemployment Fund Pro. This means that, should you become unemployed, you can apply for earnings-related unemployment security. Compared to basic allowance, earnings-related unemployment security is substantially higher. You also won’t have to wait for too long to get your application processed - Unemployment Fund Pro has a proven track record of being one of quickest funds in Finland. In addition to unemployment security, we can also help you in difficulties and questions related to, for instance, lay-offs or redundancies.

Trade Union Pro offers also its members training and other support for honing their skills. Whether you are passionate in developing in your current job or looking for new opportunities, our tailored career coaching helps you to drive your career forward and prepare for changes ahead.

Kujeileva nuori nainen hymyilee, vaaleanpunainen tausta
Perks of trade union membership: better security, well-being and networks
Kujeileva nuori nainen hymyilee, vaaleanpunainen tausta

Membership in Trade Union Pro gives you not only support and security to your working life but also numerous other benefits and services ranging from well-being services to travel discounts. You are also entitled to free legal counselling on matters related to your private life.

Trade Union Pro’s social media communities enable you to share your experiences and network with other professionals. Our regular events and webinars also offer ideas and inspiration for improving your mental and physical well-being.

As a member of Trade Union Pro, you receive a free travel and non-occupational accident insurance, which is valid everywhere in the world and covers also your under 20-year-old children and grandchildren travelling with you.

Read more about Pro's membership benefits and services

Trade union or unemployment fund?

Joining an unemployment fund (such as YTK) instead of a trade union may sound appealing since it is cheaper than being a trade union member. However, an unemployment fund is not an inexpensive version of a trade union. In addition, did you know that also trade union membership fee is fully tax-deductible?

Unemployment funds have different tasks than trade unions. They take care only for unemployment security and unlike trade unions, they do not help you if there are conflicts or problems at your workplace. In addition, they do not provide advice on matters related to your employment or promote the interest of employees in collective bargaining. For instance, according to a survey conducted in 2016 by The Consumers’ Union of Finland, the legal protection offered by YTK is far less comprehensive than what is provided by Trade Union Pro.

More members a union has, the stronger it is when negotiating collective agreements and more pressure there is for the employer to respect the agreements. According to our research, high rate of unionized employees also means higher salaries. If, for instance, the amount of employees belonging to Trade Union Pro rises from 15 to 20 percent to at least 75 percent, salaries raise for approximately 5 per cent.

Trade union membership offers you better security and services than mere unemployment fund membership
Trade union supports you if you have problems at work. Unemployment fund only takes care of unemployment security.
Membership in Trade Union Pro includes membership in Unemployment Fund Pro.
Are you wondering how to proceed?

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Access all benefits and services.

Membership includes earnings-related unemployment security