FUURT’s working groups  

Active FUURT members participate in a variety of ways, for example, in the Union’s working groups. In 2024, the Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers has seven working groups: 

  • Organisational activity working group 
  • Early career researchers committee 
  • Information and open science working group 
  • Researcher pensions working group 
  • Language policy working group 
  • Working life policies working group 
  • Higher education in transition working group 

Organisational activity working group

The working group investigates the Union’s need for changes in its rules and prepares proposals on rule changes for the Union meeting, develops the activities and division of labour within the Union and its member associations, and participates in mapping out the Union’s development needs as part of the Union’s strategy work.  

  • The group’s term runs from 4/2022 until 06/2024. 
  • The chair is Sanni Tiitinen, and the secretary is Veera Keski-Säntti. 

Early career researchers committee

The early career researchers committee supports FUURT’s promotion of interests on the special issues concerning early career researchers, grant-funded researchers, and international researchers. The committee also participates in the activities of the European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers Eurodoc. In 2023, the committee prepared, for example, FUURT’s grant policies (to be published in 2024) and provided support for the preparation of FUURT’s next survey for early career researchers. 

  • The group’s term runs until the end of 2024. 
  • The chair is Pauli Väisänen and secretary Miia Ijäs-Idrobo. 

Information and open science working group 

The working group supports the Union Board and office in their work on the promotion of interest in issues related to open science and information by preparing statements and commenting on open science projects, among other things. The working group also shares information and understanding about current topics in open science and information and provides peer support.  The working group also considers the broader and principled foundation of open science. Invitations to join the group have usually been sent out through the member associations to those interested in the theme. 

  • The group’s term runs until the end of 2024.
  • The chair is Jussi Hyvärinen and secretary Miia Ijäs-Idrobo. 

Researcher pensions working group

On the basis of an initiative from the membership, the Union Board has assigned a special working group to investigate the pension security of grant-funded researchers. The working group listens to pension policy experts at, for example, Akava, the Farmers’ Social Insurance Institution Mela, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and Arts Promotion Centre Finland. 

  • The group’s term runs from 5/2023 until 5/2024, and it elects a chair and secretary from within. 

Language policy working group 

In June 2023, the Union Board assigned a working group to prepare FUURT’s language policies and recommendations to take a stand on the language of science and science publishing, the language used in higher education and universities, universities of applied sciences and research institutes, the language policy of the Akava community as well as the Union’s operating languages. 

  • The group’s term runs from 9/2023 until 6/2024. 
  • The chair is Terhi Ainiala and secretary Miia Ijäs-Idrobo. 

Working life policies working group

Working life is undergoing a transformation. Digitalisation and technologies are changing the ways of working, and remote and hybrid work have rapidly become more prevalent. Academics are facing many challenges related to their working conditions. Fixed-term employment relationships are commonplace. Uncertainty about the continuity of employment and research funding causes a lot of stress. There is a mismatch between the pay and the demands at work. At universities, especially the salaries paid to doctoral researchers may fall short of those in low-paying fields.  

To strengthen the supervision of working life interests, there is a need for FUURT to define its working life policies. In January 2024, the Board assigned a working group to prepare working life policies for the Union.

The working group is comprised of Milja Saari, Mikko Jakonen, and Rolle Alho as members and Nina Hahtela as secretary.

Higher education in transition working group

FUURT’s policy concerning university researchers, teachers, and experts, higher education in transition and continuing learning was prepared during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Since then, hybrid and remote teaching have established themselves as new forms of teaching, which challenges teaching personnel in terms of, for example, working hours and the need for guidance. Moreover, issues concerning the earning of merits or career development in teaching-oriented positions are subject to continued discussion. 

In the Board meeting in January, a working group was assigned with the task of reviewing the transformation of higher education and FUURT policies, as well as of drafting an updated version of the earlier policy paper. Members of the working group include Erkki Pesonen, Mira Huusko, and Paula Silvén, who also serves as the chair. The secretary of the working group is Miia Ijäs-Idrobo. The working group will also co-operate on the matter with the relevant working group of the Trade Union of Education in Finland (OAJ) and the Union for University Teachers and Researchers in Finland (YLL).