Rules of the Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers
Approved at the Autumn Union Meeting on 12 November 2022.
In the event of any conflicting interpretations, the Finnish rules will be followed.
1. NAME AND DOMICILE
1§ The name of the association is Tieteentekijöiden liitto ry. The association may also use the name Tieteentekijät. The Swedish name of the association is Forskarförbundet and the English name is the Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers (FUURT). In these rules, the association is referred to as the ‘Union’ and the registered associations affiliated with it as ‘Member Associations’. The domicile of the Union is Helsinki, but the Union operates across Finland. The languages of the Union are Finnish and Swedish. The Union’s language of documentation is Finnish.
2. THE UNION’S PURPOSE AND FORM OF ACTIVITIES
2§ The purpose of the Union is to oversee and promote the interests of academics in Finland and of the members of its Member Associations (membership) in particular.
The Union oversees the legal, social, salary and livelihood-related interests of its membership; strengthens their identity as academics; supports their aspirations to advance in terms of their career and professional development; promotes the utilisation of their expertise in different areas of society; and serves as a community for the membership.
To realise its purpose, the Union
- oversees the employment terms and working conditions of the members of its Member Associations and participates in related negotiation activities;
- supports the activities of its Member Associations;
- issues statements and prepares proposals and initiatives;
- carries out communication and publication activities and organises meetings as well as training and negotiation events;
- may sell publications or training activities that advance the purpose of the Union to parties outside of its membership;
- influences political decision-making and upholds connections with its different stakeholders;
- monitors the labour market situation, income level, state of well-being at work and other key issues concerning its membership and addresses possible shortcomings;
- promotes the employment and positive career development of its membership;
- within its own field of activities, represents its membership in relations with other organisations in the sector;
- undertakes other similar measures to promote the interests and further the common goals of its membership;
- maintains a member register on behalf of its Member Associations.
The Union may receive donations and legacies.
The Union may have an industrial action and legal protection fund as well as other funds necessary to promote the salary matters and interests of its membership. The Union Meeting confirms the rules of the funds.
The Union mainly operates electronically, and all written invitations to meetings and other communication material can be sent electronically, for example by email, if not otherwise specifically mentioned in these rules.
3§ A registered association formed of such persons as referred to in § 2 (1) of the rules may join the Union as an ordinary member (Member Association). The Union may also have supporting members and honorary members. Supporting members may be organisations, foundations, or natural persons. Honorary members are natural persons.
Upon the proposal of the Union Board, a natural person who has significantly advanced or supported the realisation of the purposes of the Union may be invited to be an honorary member by the Union Meeting. Any natural or legal person supporting the activities of the Union may be accepted as a supporting member. Honorary and supporting members are not entitled to vote at Union Meetings.
4§ The membership application must be submitted to the Union Board and the Board will decide on the acceptance of an applicant as an ordinary or supporting member. Applicants for ordinary membership shall attach to their application a copy of the association’s rules and information on the number of its membership. The Union Board shall notify the applicant of its decision in writing.
5§ Member Associations and supporting members shall pay the annual membership fee as decided by the Union Meeting. The amount of the membership fee may be different for Member Associations and supporting members. Honorary members are not required to pay a membership fee.
The membership fee of Member Associations is based on the number of members in the Member Association in question and on a percentage-based fee collected from the salaries of the Member Association’s members and/or a unit fee collected from the members of the Member Associations. Upon the decision of the Union Meeting, the amounts of the fees collected from the members of the Member Associations may be different for the following groups: a. employed members, b. grant-funded researchers, c. those on maternity, paternity, parental or child care leave, d. those on sick or rehabilitation leave, e. those on job alternation leave, f. those on unpaid leave for another similar reason, g. unemployed, h. those completing mandatory military or non-military service, i. pensioners, j. students, k. new members of a Member Association for a maximum of the first three months of payment.
The collection method of the membership fee is agreed on by the Union and Member Associations and realised in one of three ways:
- The Union collects the membership fees directly from the members of the Member Associations (Union collection).
- On the basis of the fee collection agreement of the Member Association, the employer withholds the fee from the employee’s monthly wages or salary and pays it to the Union in accordance with the Union’s instructions (Employer collection).
- The Member Association collects fees from its members and pays a collective Union membership fee to the Union (Member Association collection).
If an individual is a member of more than one Member Association, only one Union membership fee will be collected. The person concerned may act as a representative in the bodies of the Union and be included in the calculation of the voting rights only for that Member Association which pays the person’s membership fee to the Union. If the membership fees are collected through the Union collection or Employer collection method, the Member Associations must inform the Union of the amount of the membership fees that the Member Association collects from its own members.
The amount of the membership fees of supporting members may be different for organisations, foundations, and natural persons. The supporting membership fees of organisations and foundations may be different, as they are based on their individual balance sheets.
The Union Meeting may, if necessary, decide on the collection of an extraordinary membership fee or industrial action and legal protection fund fee from its members. The extraordinary membership fee and industrial action and legal protection fund fee may be collected on the same bases as the standard membership fee. The industrial action and legal protection fund fee cannot be collected from supporting members.
6§ When a member has decided to resign from the Union, they must submit a written notification of the matter to the Union Board or Union Meeting for inclusion in the meeting minutes or in another way specified in the Associations Act.
The resignation of a Member Association, supporting organisation member or supporting foundation member will enter into force six months from the date of the resignation notification. The resignation of individual members (supporting members and honorary members) will enter into force at the end of the calendar year in which the resignation notification is submitted.
If an ordinary member or supporting member fails to fulfil their obligations towards the Union or they act in a way that is contrary to the purposes of the Union, the Union Board may revoke the Union membership of the member in question. If an honorary Union member acts in a way that is contrary to the purposes of the Union, the Union Meeting may revoke the Union membership of the member in question.
The member concerned may forward the decision to revoke membership to the Union Meeting for final decision by submitting a written complaint to the Union Board within 30 days of the date on which the member concerned has been informed of the decision to revoke membership. When a member has resigned or their membership has been revoked, their obligations towards the Union shall be void, with the exception of the obligation to pay the membership fee. A member loses the right to vote in the Union immediately upon the submission of their notification of resignation or receipt of the decision on their revocation. However, the member is obliged to pay the membership fees for the calendar year in which the notification of resignation is submitted, or the revocation decision is made.
The membership fees of the Union are subject to collection once they fall due.
7§ The Member Association is obligated
- to regularly pay its membership fee to the Union according to the Union Meeting’s decision;
- to inform the Union without delay, but no later than by 15 December, about the amounts of its membership fees as confirmed at the Member Association’s Autumn Meeting;
- to notify the Union immediately of any changes concerning the Member Association’s rules and officers;
- to provide the Union with the confirmed annual report and accounts of the Member Association;
- to name, by the end of January of each year, those persons who have been chosen to serve as representatives and deputy representatives at Union Meetings for that year;
- to comply with, for example, the EU General Data Protection Regulation in its activities, particularly as concerns its member register and the processing of personal data.
4. ADMINISTRATIVE BODIES
8§ The administrative bodies of the Union include the Union Meeting, Union Board and Working Committee. The Union has an Executive Director and the necessary number of other personnel.
5. UNION MEETINGS
9§ Two ordinary Union Meetings are held each year: the Spring Union Meeting in March–May and the Autumn Union Meeting in November–December.
A written advance notice of the time and place of the ordinary Union Meeting shall be sent to the Member Associations at least 40 days prior to the meeting.
An invitation to an ordinary Union Meeting shall be sent to the Member Associations and individual members in writing at least 10 days prior to the meeting. The Union Meeting shall also be announced on the Union website. The invitation shall include the issues on the agenda of the Union Meeting.
If a Member Association wants a specific matter discussed at an ordinary Union Meeting, they shall submit a justified written proposal to the Union Board. The proposal must be submitted to the Union Board at least 30 days prior to the Union Meeting in question.
The Union Meeting may discuss a Union Board proposal not mentioned in the invitation to the meeting if the provisions of section 24 of the Associations Act are met.
At the Union Meeting, a Member Association has one representative for every 60 ordinary members or fraction thereof as registered on 1 January. Ordinary members include members who pay the membership fee and members who are exempt from membership fees for valid reasons.
Member Associations shall notify the Union in January of each calendar year of the names of their Union Meeting representatives for that year. The representatives named by their Member Associations have the right to speak and vote at Union Meetings.
When necessary, extraordinary Union Meetings may be held upon the invitation of the Union Board or as decided upon by the meeting itself.
An extraordinary Union Meeting must be called if at least one quarter of the Member Associations requests such a meeting in writing from the Union Board in order to discuss an issue they have stated in the request.
An invitation to the extraordinary Union Meeting shall be sent to the Member Associations and individual members in writing at least 5 days prior to the meeting. The extraordinary Union Meeting shall also be announced on the Union website.
Union Board members, auditors and Union personnel have the right to speak at Union Meetings.
If the Union Board so decides, the Union Meeting can also be attended using a data connection or some other technical means.
10§ Autumn Union Meeting
- approves the next year’s action plan;
- confirms the next year’s membership fee and manner of collection as well as the budget;
- confirms the remuneration for the Union President and Union Board as well as members of other Union organs;
- elects the Union President and two Vice Presidents every other year;
- elects the other ordinary members of the Union Board and their personal deputy members;
- elects two auditors or an auditor and an operations inspector for the next year. Additionally, two deputy auditors or a deputy auditor and deputy operations inspector are also elected. Alternatively, an audit firm can be elected to audit the accounts;
- decides on the other matters mentioned in the invitation to the meeting and presented by the Union Board.
The person elected as Union President must receive the absolute majority of the given votes to get elected. If no candidate receives the required majority, a second vote will be held between the two candidates who received the most votes.
The Union President’s term of office is two calendar years. The same person can be elected President for a maximum of two terms.
When electing the Vice Presidents, each member entitled to vote may cast their vote for a maximum of two candidates. The two candidates who receive the most votes will be elected Vice Presidents. If the votes are tied, the winner is decided by lot.
The ordinary members and deputy members of the Union Board are elected in the Union Meeting based on a proposal by the Election Committee. If the Union Meeting is unable to select the members and deputy members of the Union Board based on the proposal by the Election Committee, the board members and deputy members are elected in a personal proportional election as stipulated in section 29, paragraph 3 (2) of the Associations Act. The Union Meeting confirms separate rules of procedure for elections and votes.
11§ Spring Union Meeting
- presents the Union Board’s annual report on Union activities during the previous calendar year;
- confirms the financial statements, discusses the auditor’s report and decides on discharging those accountable from liability;
- appoints an Election Committee to prepare the elections to be held at the Autumn Union Meeting;
- decides on other matters mentioned in the invitation to the meeting and presented by the Union Board.
6. UNION BOARD
12§ The Union Board consists of the Union President, two Union Vice Presidents and eight other ordinary members. Board members must be ordinary members of a Member Association of the Union. Each ordinary member, with the exception of the President and Vice Presidents, has a personal deputy member.
The term of office for the members of the Union Board, with the exception of the President and Vice Presidents, is one calendar year.
The Union Board assembles by invitation of the President, or when prevented, by invitation of one of the Vice Presidents. The Union Board constitutes a quorum when the President or one of the Vice Presidents and at least half of the other members are present.
13§ An invitation to a Board meeting shall be sent out at least seven days prior to the meeting. In urgent matters, the invitation shall be sent out at least one day prior to the meeting.
If necessary, the Union Board can also hold their meeting electronically, via email or in another remote manner.
14§ Duties of the Union Board
It is the duty of the Union Board
- to manage Union activities;
- to take care of Union matters in accordance with the decisions of the Union Meeting and these rules;
- to accept and revoke membership of ordinary members and supporting members of the Union;
- to employ the personnel of the Union in permanent employment relationships and to decide on their dismissal, supervise their activities and confirm their pay;
- to appoint the necessary committees and working groups to assist the Union Board;
- to convene Union Meetings and prepare the matters on the agenda;
- to implement the decisions of the Union Meetings;
- to administer Union assets;
- to decide on the sale, trade and mortgage of Union assets;
- to represent the Union in any court cases involving the Union as plaintiff or defendant;
- to decide on the Union’s representation;
- to decide whether to accept or reject the results of the negotiations concerning the membership of the Union, such as collective agreements and similar agreements;
- to decide on the initiation, interruption or ending of an industrial action;
- to undertake other measures to advance the purpose of the Union.
The Executive Director manages Union matters as instructed and directed by the Union Board.
The Union Board has the right to award recognitions and grants.
7. WORKING COMMITTEE
15§ The Union Board shall appoint a Working Committee for the duration of its term. The Working Committee is comprised of the Union President and Union Vice Presidents. The Executive Director and Union personnel can act as presenting officers of the Working Committee as decided by the Working Committee.
16§ Duties of the Working Committee
It is the duty of the Working Committee
- to prepare matters to be handled by the Union Board;
- to monitor the implementation of the strategy;
- to prepare and outline the personnel policy;
- to support and guide the Executive Director.
8. AUTHORITY TO SIGN ON BEHALF OF THE UNION
17§ The Union President and Union Vice President together, or one of them together with the Executive Director or Financial Manager are entitled to sign on behalf of the Union. The Union Board may grant the Executive Director the authority to sign alone on behalf of the Union.
9. ACCOUNTS AND AUDIT
18§ The accounting period of the Union is one calendar year. The financial statements shall be presented to the auditors by the end of April. A statement on the account audit shall be given to the Spring Union Meeting.
10. RULE AMENDMENTS AND DISSOLUTION OF THE UNION
19§ Amendments of these rules require a ¾ majority of the votes cast at the Union Meeting. The matter concerning rule amendments cannot be raised at a Union Meeting unless it has been mentioned in the meeting invitation and the proposal for the amendment has been appended to the invitation or agenda.
20§ If the Union is dissolved, its assets shall be allocated to activities that further Union objectives as determined by the final Union Meeting.