Salaries

Salary means remuneration for completed work. While salaries are usually monetary, they may also include various benefits, such as meals or the use of an apartment, car or phone. Finnish legislation does not specify a general minimum wage; instead, field-specific minimum wages are determined according to the collective agreement for employees or for public servants.

Links to sector-specific collective agreements for employees and public servants can be found at the website of the Negotiation Organisation for Public Sector Professionals JUKO (primarily available in Finnish and Swedish).

Some collective agreements of private-sector industries typical for academics are also available at the website of the Federation of Professional and Managerial Staff YTN (primarily in Finnish, some also available in English).

Job applicants are often asked to present a salary request. The salary comparisons of Oikotie or Duunitori are great tools for this purpose as they offer a search function for wage examples sorted by job title (in Finnish).

Below, we describe in closer detail the most common salary system for academics, in other words the university salary system (YPJ), which is part of the general collective agreement for universities.

Salary system at universities 

The salaries within the university system comprise a job-related salary element based on the requirement level of duties and a personal salary element based on personal performance. Universities apply two assessment systems, one for the teaching and research staff and one for the other staff. 

More information on each system’s assessment criteria regarding the requirement level of the position and personal performance can be found in the General Collective Agreement for universities.

Assessment of the requirement level of duties in a new, previously assessed and changed position

When concluding an employment contract, the employee shall be informed if the employer considers the position as a new position, which shall be assessed by an assessment group within 6 months of the start of employment (with the requirement level potentially declining or rising), or as a previously assessed position (so-called old position from the employer’s point of view), in which case the employer can later on only raise the requirement level.

The requirement level shall be reassessed if a supervisor considers that the duties have changed to a sufficient degree. The change can be sudden or gradual. The position can also be reassessed when so requested by the person in question or a shop steward. The supervisor shall make a written proposal for the requirement level as soon as possible and no later than two months from the request.

Assessment of personal performance

Personal performance was previously assessed every two years in accordance with the collective agreement. As of 1 January 2019, the employer conducts employee assessments within five years from the previous assessment. An employee has the right to request an assessment in two years’ time from the previous assessment.

However, an employee may request an assessment after a period of six months from beginning employment. When fixed-term employment continues longer than six months, the assessment shall be conducted as soon as possible to avoid the employment terminating before the assessment is conducted.

Universities determine their annual assessment periods when the assessments are generally conducted. The assessment periods may vary between universities. However, assessments of personal performance can be also conducted outside the actual assessment periods, for instance, if a supervisor wishes to assess an employee because of his or her good personal performance, an assessment is conducted at the beginning of employment or different assessment time is necessary due to fixed-term employment.
Furthermore, if a fixed-term worker continues to work for the same university in a position with a comparable requirement level or duties, the personal salary element cannot be lowered.

Salary payment

If the requirement level changes, the salary shall be paid on the basis of the requirement assessment ratified by the employer from the beginning of the next month after the supervisor’s written proposal.

If the personal salary element changes, the personal salary element ratified by the employer shall be paid from the beginning of the next calendar month after the assessment period. If the assessment is conducted outside the assessment periods (for example due to fixed-term employment), the salary shall be paid from the beginning of the next calendar month after the supervisor’s written proposal.

Salary raises

The General Collective Agreement for universities 1.4.2020-31.3.2022 guarantees salary raises to all university staff, corresponding with the general level of salary raises. Part of the raises will be given as general raises and part as locally allocated raises. In total, the salary raises are 3,2 %.

  • The general raises take place on August 1, 2020 by 1,1 % and on June 1, 2021 with another 1,1 %
  • The local lots take place on December 1, 2020 by 0,5 % and on December 1, 2021 with another 0,5 %

The local lots will be allocated by the employer’s discretion to the job-specific pay components together with job-requirement addition, or to the individual pay.

Salaries paid in total euros (not part of the university salary system) will be raised accordingly on August 1, 2020 (1,1 %), on December 1, 2020 (0,5 %), on June 1, 2021 (1,1 %) and on December 1, 2021 (0,5 %).

Academy professors’ and academy researcherssalaries will be raised similarly with general raises and locally allocated raises. 

Useful links:

The General Collective Agreement for Universities (Finnish Education Employers)

University salary tables