Fjäder to continue as President of Akava – widespread recognition for Teikari’s campaign

The Akava unions that supported Maria Teikari wish to thank the candidate for her successful campaign. Teikari, challenging incumbent Sture Fjäder, received a total of 292 votes in the election. Fjäder secured 578 votes, and was elected for a new term at the Akava general meeting organised on 25 August.

“I’m glad we had a candidate of Maria’s caliber, who would have the ability to steer the Akava community into a new era. The campaign introduced themes important to the Akava community, which was our objective,” says Simo Pöyhönen, Executive Director of Social Science Professionals (YKA).

Teikari’s campaign for presidency, launched in late April, was covered widely in the media and the Akava community. Teikari met with representatives from nearly 30 of Akava’s affiliates and engaged in broad-ranging discussions about the future of Akava and the trade union movement in general. Her candidacy was supported by, for example, the Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers, Talentia Union of Professional Social Workers, the Finnish Psychological Association, Akava Special Branches and the Finnish Association of Rehabilitation Professionals.

“Teikari’s campaign highlighted key perspectives related to the needs in the changing working life and the constructive and unifying role of trade unions in this change. Her message met with positive response throughout the Akava community, showing that we must continue open and diverse discussions about the future of Akava and involve all affiliates, irrespective of their size,” says Maija S. Peltola President of the Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers.

Teikari says she is satisfied despite coming in second.

“When I decided to run for presidency of Akava, I chose as my slogan ‘The trade union movement flourishes or declines depending on our joint action’. This still aptly reflects my view of the movement and its future. I am also more convinced than ever that joint action is fully possible if that is what we want. I send my warm thanks to all the unions that supported me as well as to my other supporters,” says Teikari.

The unions that supported Teikari believe that her campaign enhanced Akava’s operations.

According to the unions, work to reform Akava’s procedures must continue. The unions hope to see Akava develop an increasingly dialogical approach and closely listen to the affiliates’ views before formulating an opinion for Akava as a whole. In their view, an internally strong Akava is also a stronger player in external influencing.