Trade Union Jyty was founded in 1918. The name of the union has changed during the decades – the last time in November 2020 – when got its name: Ammattiliitto Jyty – Fackförbundet Jyty – Trade Union Jyty.

"The purpose of the union is to look after the social and economical benefits of employees belonging to the union and to be their moral support." This was defined as the purpose and goals of the confederation of The Finnish Municipal Employee Branches.

The union initiative came from Turku

The initiative to found the first regional municipal employee branch was taken in Turku.  The City Librarian at the time, Ph. B. Einar Holmberg invited a few municipal employees from Turku to consider founding a employee branch of their own on 8.1.1918. The Civil / Freedom War, however, interrupted the starting measures to found a branch and the Turku Municipal Employee regional branch was founded 18.9.1918. Vaasa was very fast to follow the example of Turku, and founded their branch on 9.10.1918.

On 19.10.1918 the Turku branch sent out a circular to "the municipal employee body of all Finnish cities", and encouraged other employees to take the same measures and found branches in their own regions. The circular was positively received and the branches of Pietarsaari and Lahti were founded on 27.10.1918 and the branch of Jyväskylä on 29.10.1918. In November it was Hamina's, Tampere's, Pori's and Raahe's turn and in December Kokkola's and Kuopio's.

The thought of founding a national confederation had its origin in Vaasa, where the local branch on 16.10.1918 sent a letter to the Turku branch suggesting that all municipal employee branches in the country should send their representatives to a meeting to be held as soon as possible, preferably in Tampere.

The constituent meeting in Tampere

The Turku branch sent a letter to all existing branches on 29.11.1918. In the letter it was established that "a constituent meeting for the national confederation of the municipal employee branches will be held in the Tampere's Rahatoimikamari on December 7 at 5 pm."

You can regard this as the start of the operations of Jyty and its predecessors, ie Kunnallisvirkamiesliitto KVL, the Suomen Kunnallisvirkamiesyhdistysten keskusliitto – Kommunala tjänstemannaföreningarnas i Finland Centralförbund – The Federation of Public and Private Sector Employees at the time.

Meeting representatives came from Lahti, Jyväskylä, Kokkola, Hanko, Helsinki, Kuopio, Hämeenlinna, Oulu, Tampere, Vaasa, Pori and Turku. The official foundation branches were six: Lahti, Tampere, Turku, Pori, Kuopio and Vaasa. As the chairman of the meeting served the City Chief Accountant Asser Kalm and as secretary the City Registrar Frans Ljungqvist of Turku.

The union regulation suggestion was preliminarily reviewed and the union elected a temporary board, for which Mayor Reinhold von Willebrand from Turku became chairman. The first annual meeting of the union was held 15.-16.3.1919 in Helsinki. At the meeting the regional branches of Hamina, Hanko, Helsinki, Jyväskylä, Kuopio, Lahti, Lappeenranta, Oulu, Pori, Rauma, Tampere, Turku and Vaasa were represented.

The chairmen of the union

During the years the following persons have worked as chairmen of the union: 1919 Ph.B. Harald Dalström, 1920–1938 professor Zachr. Castren, 1938–1943 Justice Court Judge Knut Furuhjelm, 1944–1945 Ph.B. Alex Danielson, 1946–1949 City Engineer Akseli Linnavuori, 1950–1966 Senior Justice Court Judge Eero Rönkä, 1967–1972 MSc Urpo Ryönänkoski, 1973 City Reeve Juhani Tuominen, 1973–1975 Municipal Mayor Henrik Boehm, 1976–1992 Engineer Taisto Mursula, 1993–2000 Ph.D. Katriina Perkka-Jortikka, 2001–2006, MSSc Markku Jalonen, 2006–2009 LL.M. Merja Ailus.