open and mentally healthy work community is based above all on trust. At the
work place one should be able to trust the boss and the work mates, but also
one’s own shop steward that works as the representative for the employees, the
defender of the benefits and if necessary also the spokesman.
Who do you
trust in working life? Take part in the Jyty competition and tell us who
deserves your trust!
steward is the expert of the work community, and she/he works as your and
Jyty’s representative at your work place, and this work is based on trust. The
Jyty shop steward network is comprehensive and our entire member service is
strongly based on it. The shop steward’s task is to see to it that the employer
follows agreements and work relationship regulations. The shop steward is the
person that the employees belonging to Jyty have elected through direct
elections and she/he works as a representative for only the organized
employees. Because of this the employees are encouraged to organize in the
union that negotiates their collective agreements. Unorganised employees do not
have a representative in the agreement and negotiation activities or in the
The role of
the shop steward has been emphasized further by the fact that the agreement
activities more and more have been transferred to a local level.
steward has been provided time to handle the trusteeship tasks side by side
with the work tasks and this time is stipulated according to the number of
employees represented. Normally the shop steward is paid a shop steward
compensation on top of the normal salary and the shop steward has a statutory,
specially defined unemployment protection.
If there are
several shop stewards working for the same employer, for instance in different
departments or offices, a head shop steward that represents all the employees
is elected. Depending on the number of represented persons, the head shop
steward works full time with the shop steward tasks.
steward is also, based on the collective agreement, entitled to receive
information regarding the employees’ position as well as use space, phones and copying
machines etc at the work place when handling her/his tasks.
information about the shop stewards’ training on the Training page.
You find more
information about shop steward elections in the Material Bank of OmaNetti.
of the shop steward
The task of
the shop steward is in the first place to monitor that agreements are followed
and that the legal protection is not broken. The shop stewards have many
developing roles of the work place. The shop stewards advice the implementation
of the employment system.
agreement activities of late have more and more moved from a national level to a local level
and in the local agreements the shop steward’s, and especially the head shop
steward’s, role is of special importance – without the shop steward it is
difficult or impossible to make local agreements. A new shop steward had better
find out where to get previous local agreements and familiarize herself/himself
the benefits of the employment relationship
that the work legislation as well as employment collective agreements are
followed, negotiates disputes if needed.
• Handles the members’ lay-off and notice cases.
• The shop steward supervises the implementation of the industrial peace.
of the employment relationship
in the negotiation activities and making of local agreements at the work places.
• Promotes cooperation between the employer and the staff.
of the work place activities
matters connected to the work of the members.
• Negotiation and meeting activities at the work place.
• Contact to the union’s other actors at different levels.
• Also matters regarding spare time.
• Provides information and messages between parties.
• Participates in arranging occupational health and safety election, if needed.
• Is normally part of the cooperation body at the work place.
individual work agreement and work relationship matters.
• Gives advice, counsels, who can one ask?
• Listens to the member.
• Gives information about current trusteeship matters to both the branch and
tasks of the shop steward are diverse, and the variety of matters to handle is
broad. The most common matters given to the shop steward regard the themes
There is a
great amount of staff representatives all around Finland’s work places. About
2000 of them are shop stewards. In the Jyty member research 64% of those who
answered said that they were either shop stewards themselves or had one
representing them at the work place. According to the Jyty members the most
important tasks of the union movement are to develop the working conditions, to
develop the work health, to protect jobs and increase the staff’s influential
possibilities at the work places. The Jyty shop stewards are doing important work
to achieve all these things at Finnish work places.
shop stewards feel that the most important elements of their own work as shop
stewards are among other things following agreements, an atmosphere of trust,
staff health and the functionality of the information flow.
If you do
not know who your representative at your work place is yet, you can in the
first place ask your work mates and have a look at the work place bulletin board
or other information channels. You can contact your own branch or your own
regional office. By phoning the Jyty member service you can also find out the
name and contact details of your representative.
executive Mika Periaho is in charge of the shop steward activities at Jyty. In
trusteeship questions the shop steward should firstly contact her/his own
and competence of the shop steward
their shop stewards different training through all the shop steward career
stages, in order to get the best possible support for the local trusteeship.
Training is paid agreement training, in other words the employer pays salary
for the training days in question and the union the course costs (travel, food,
accommodation and education).
stewards and the vice shop stewards are entitled to participate in shop steward
courses. The employer needs to have a motivated reason not to let the shop
steward participate in the course, and in unclear cases the union should be
studies for shop stewards are intended for new shop stewards and those that
have been away for a long time.
At the shop
steward theme courses you deal with a specific theme in greater detail with the
help from experts and normally in smaller groups. The subject of the theme
courses can be for instance the handling of problem situations at the work
place, assessment of the work challenge, staff policy, negotiation skills or
At the shop
stewards and chairmen negotiation days we concentrate on regional and current
matters. You can participate only in negotiation days in your own region.
and occupational health and safety courses are intended for staff
representatives working with cooperation and occupational health and safety. At
the theme seminars you go into the theme in question in greater detail. The
head shop stewards and shop stewards are also entitled to take part in the
courses in question.
information in Jyty’s training calendar.
elected by the members of the organisation in question and that handles matters
of the staff at the work place.
shop stewards are employed by the same employer in for instance different
departments or offices, a head shop steward is also elected to represent all
the employees. Depending on the number of people represented, the head shop
steward works full time in the role of shop steward, ie she/he is a head shop
steward as her/his main occupation.
cooperation activities are influencing the decision making. The cooperation law
gives the Jyty members a possibility to influence the decision making of their
own work and working conditions.
cooperation proceedings they negotiate, information is given between the
members and the employer, and experts and staff information are used in the
preparation of the work community’s decision making. The cooperation bodies
enable the members to present their views and opinions about things that do not
belong to the actual agreement activities.
cooperation law and the agreements oblige the employer to inform the staff of
the cooperation proceedings and work community things.
representatives on all cooperation levels, from the highest level to regional
collective agreement in Finland is an agreement between the employee
organization and the employer or the employers’ organization, and it is about
trade specific work conditions, such as salary (including overtime
compensation), working hours, holidays and other benefits that are followed in
the applicable trade of the agreement. The agreements are often not only trade
specific, but also tied to the occupational position of the employee. In the
private sector the employers are often represented by one of the member trade
unions of the Confederation of Finnish Industries, EK, while the employee side
is represented by one of the member unions of SAK, STTK or Akava. In the public
sector collective agreements are made. The contracting parties are the unions
and the Local government employers KT, the Office for the Government as
Employer or the Church labour market institution.