The importance of a work plan

The work plan is important in many ways: it is a document for agreeing on the duties included in the annual working time of 1,612 hours. Once the plan has been completed, new duties cannot be added without modifying the plan.

Preparing a work plan protects staff against unscheduled workloads. Once the duties specified in the work plan have been completed, the workload of the academic year has been completed (however, a single meeting or a similar item does not constitute a new duty).

The work plan is also connected to salary, as the duties agreed in the work plan directly reflect on the determination of the personal salary element.

Work plan preparation and contents

Work plans must be prepared before the beginning of the academic year. The starting point for the planning is the organisation of the unit’s teaching operations and the equal distribution of tasks.

The work plan of an individual employee shall specify the allocation of working time (1,612 hours) to teaching, research and other duties.

According to established procedure, 100 hours out of 1,612 are generally allocated to administrative and planning responsibilities (meetings, work groups, unit curriculum design, etc.) in the employee’s unit and university.

Time allocated to teaching

Dimensioning of teaching duties shall allow for the content of teaching and the preparation work that it requires, such as reading literature and keeping abreast of one’s field, producing teaching content, pedagogisation and the construction of learning environments. The time allocated to, for example, assessment, guidance and student communications must also be taken into account.

As a rule, a maximum of 394 hours of contact teaching per academic year may be included in the work plan for duties weighted towards teaching. The concept of contact teaching is not simple, as teaching is becoming increasingly diverse. It is nevertheless essential that all the work is included in the 1,612 hours and that the work plan corresponds to reality.

For more information on the application of maximum teaching hours and the concept of contact teaching, see the OAJ member site (in Finnish).

Teaching in the work plan of a doctoral student

The collective agreement includes a minuted note containing a recommendation that individuals principally engaged in thesis work allocate no more than 5% of their annual working hours to teaching (81 hours out 1,612 hours). Their teaching work should be connected with their field of study as far as possible.