Terminology related to university employment relationships, working life and trade unions
1,624 In accordance with the General collective agreement for universities, the total annual working time of teaching and research staff in universities is 1,624 hours. The included duties are specified in a work plan.
396 A maximum of 396 hours of contact teaching per academic year may be included in the work plan for duties weighted towards teaching.
455 A maximum of 455 hours of contact teaching per academic year may be included in teaching duties that involve no actual research. The increased maximum teaching time of 455 hours can be applied in science universities if the teaching‑weighted duties require less preparation than usual. The aim is for no increase to occur in the proportion of staff whose duties include no research in addition to teaching. The absence of research does not constitute automatic grounds for the application of the increased maximum teaching time.
Annual holiday A paid annual leave from performing duties in an employment relationship. The annual holiday regulations shall apply to teaching and research staff only in respect of holiday bonus. Staff must plan their work over the academic year so that their schedule allows them a sufficient period of continuous holiday in the summer in addition to the duties specified in the work plan.
Contact teaching Contact teaching means giving a lecture or directing a course, seminar or small group meeting. Blended teaching (incl. online teaching) can be recorded as contact teaching in the work plan in accordance with an agreement with the employer. The definition of contact teaching may vary slightly according to university. A key element in the preparation of the work plan is including all duties within the scope of 1,624 hours. If a specific supervisory task is not deemed contact teaching in you university, the supervision nevertheless deducts a corresponding portion from the time for other teaching and research, producing the same result.
Cooperation See under About employment > Cooperation.
Development discussion The annual development discussion between an employee and his or her superior is an opportunity for the employee to discuss matters related to personal work, coping, changes and work practices. The development discussion is an opportunity for the superior to gain an understanding of the situations of the individual employees and the team under his or her direction. The development discussion and salary-related discussions should primarily be kept separate. For more information, see the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health website (in Finnish).
Employment contract An employment contract specifies the key terms and conditions of employment governing the employee and the employer, including the duration of a trial period (no longer than 6 months according to legislation), place of work, primary duties, ground for determining the salary, the applicable working time system and grounds for temporary employment. An employment contract cannot be unilaterally modified in the absence of grounds for termination (e.g., production-related grounds: the work will no longer be required, cooperation negotiations will be held).
Evaluation round Personal performance development discussions are conducted throughout the university every two years. The next occasion is in the period from February to April in 2017.
Evaluation group The university evaluation groups assess job requirement levels. Universities have separate evaluation groups for teaching and research staff and other staff. Both groups include employer and employee representatives.
Exceptional bonus for lecturers A lecturer receiving a guaranteed salary who was entitled to a lecturer’s productivity bonus at the time of the adoption of the previous agreement on 21 June 2006 shall be entitled to a separate bonus of EUR 180 for as long as the said lecturer continues to serve the same university as a lecturer without interruption.
Family leave According to the Employment Contracts Act, employees are entitled to take leave from work during maternity, special maternity, paternity and parental benefit periods. For more information on applying for family leave, see the OAJ member site (in Finnish).
Fixed-term employment An employment contract is valid indefinitely unless it has, for a justified reason, been concluded for a specific fixed term. Contracts concluded for a fixed term on the employer’s initiative without a justified reason shall be considered valid indefinitely. It is prohibited to use consecutive fixed-term contracts when the amount or total duration of fixed-term contracts or the totality of such contracts indicates a permanent need for labour. (Section 3 of Chapter 1 of the Employment Contracts Act). The employer must treat permanent and fixed-term employees equally unless there is an acceptable cause for derogation deriving from the duties and position of the employees. Without proper and justified reason, employment terms less favourable than those applicable to other employment relationships must not be applied to fixed-term employment relationships merely because of the duration of the employment contract. (Section 2 of Chapter 2 of the Employment Contracts Act).
Guarantee salary If a person was in employment at a higher salary than the salary associated with the adoption of the salary system (21 June 2006), the person is entitled to the higher salary as long as he or she continues in uninterrupted permanent employment with the same university.
Job alternation leave A release from work granted which requires an unemployed job-seeker filling the position of the employee taking leave. The employer may grant job alternation leave at its discretion. However, the employer must treat employees equally in accordance with the Employment Contracts Act. For comprehensive instructions concerning the terms and conditions of job alternation leave, including occupational background requirements, the condition regarding previous employment, age limit and job alternation compensation, see the OAJ member site (in Finnish).
Job-related salary element In the salary system for Finnish universities, salaries include a job-related salary element (job requirement level) and a personal salary element (personal performance). A provisional job requirement level will be specified in the employment contract of a new employee. However, the final job requirement level shall be assessed within six months of the start of employment by a joint university evaluation group. The requirement levels are mapped in appendices 1 and 2 of the collective agreement.
Job requirement bonus In addition to the job-related salary element (job requirement level), the employer may pay a job requirement bonus amounting to 50% of the salary difference between the job requirement level of the employee’s position and the next higher job requirement level, having regard in addition to the personal salary element. The job requirement bonus may be temporary (if it is granted based on a temporary duty). See also under YPJ.
JUKO The Public Sector Negotiating Commission JUKO is the negotiating organisation of Akava and in charge of negotiating the General collective agreement for universities with the union representing the employer. Shop stewards from Akava unions operate under a mandate from JUKO. OAJ is the largest member organisation of JUKO.
Local branch The OAJ local branch association is an umbrella organisation for local OAJ branches and their individual members. The member-base of the local university branches in Helsinki and Turku comprise solely university staff, while the member-bases in local university branches in other areas also include other OAJ members.
Maximum teaching hours The maximum amount of contact teaching per academic year to be included in a work plan.
Member association YLL members are members in the YLL member association of their specific university.
Occupational safety and health cooperation See under About employment > Cooperation and the OAJ member site under Occupational safety and health and well-being (in Finnish) as well as Occupational safety and health cooperation (in Finnish).
Part-time employment An employment contract can establish a part-time employment relationship (e.g., 60% part-time employment). The employer must otherwise treat full-time and part-time employees equally unless there is an acceptable cause for derogation deriving from the duties and position of the employees. Without proper and justified reason, employment terms less favourable than those applicable to other employment relationships must not be applied to part-time employment relationships merely because of the duration of the employment contract. (Section 2 of Chapter 2 of the Employment Contracts Act).
Performance bonus In addition to the personal salary element, the employer may pay a performance bonus amounting to 50% of the salary difference between the performance level of the employee and the next highest performance level. See also under YPJ.
Personal level See Personal salary element.
Personal salary element In the salary system for Finnish universities, salaries include a job-related salary element (job requirement level) and a personal salary element (personal performance). The personal salary element is determined based on how well the individual performs the duties specified in the work plan. New university employees initially receive a personal salary element based on the performance level assessed to correspond to their competence, work experience and prior performance. The performance level must be re-assessed within six months of the start of employment. The performance level evaluation system is described in appendices 3 and 4 of the collective agreement.
Regional association The OAJ regional association is an umbrella organisation for all OAJ associations operating in a region. YLL members, i.e. members of the OAJ university sector, are also members of the regional association.
Requirement level See Job-related salary element.
Salary table The salary tables are provided in Appendix 5 of the collective agreement. The table will be modified when the salary raises of the agreement period enter into force. The updated salary table (yliopistot) is available on the OAJ member site.
Shop steward The shop steward represents the employees at the workplace in matters concerning the interpretation and application of collective agreements and regulations. The shop steward is responsible for distributing information and notifications between the employer and the staff. All members of Akava associations are entitled to use the services of JUKO shop stewards. The contact information of shop stewards with a YLL/OAJ background is provided under What we do > Shop stewards.
Study leave A release from the performance of work granted for the purpose of studying. A worker whose full-time employment relationship with the same employer has lasted overall for at least one year shall be entitled to study leave under certain restrictions. The employer shall be entitled to postpone the date on which the study leave is to begin on specific grounds. For more information on entitlement to and applying for study leave, see the OAJ member site (in Finnish).
TES See collective agreement.
The Association of Finnish Independent Education Employers (AFIEE) An employer association which operates under the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) and negotiates on matters related to the collective agreement with trade unions representing employees.
Total working time The total annual working time of teaching and research staff in universities is 1,624 hours. The work plan shall specify the allocation of 1,624 hours of working time to various fields of duty over the following academic year. Employees are responsible for their own hours of work and for using these hours in duties under the work plan. The collective agreement specifies the maximum contact teaching hours to be included in the work plan. The maximum contact teaching hours in teaching-weighted duties are typically 396 hours in science universities and 455 hours in art universities.
Trial period A trial period may be agreed in the employment contract. The trial period shall comply with the Employment Contracts Act and shall not exceed six months. It is easier to cancel an employment contract during than after a trial period. However, cancellation must be based on proper grounds.
Work plan The annual total working time of 1,624 hours must be allocated to specific fields of duty before the beginning of the academic year. See About employment > Work plan.
YPJ The collective agreement covers the salary system for Finnish universities. The salary includes a job-related salary element (job requirement level) and a personal salary element (personal performance). The employer may additionally pay a job requirement bonus (50% of the salary difference to the next higher job requirement level) and a performance bonus (50 % of the salary difference to the next higher performance level). The employees who were working for the university on 31 December 2009 may also be entitled to a guaranteed salary element created in conjunction with the salary system renovation.