Know your Rights
Work place related Conflict solving
at the Universities
As at all
work places, sometimes conflicts arise
inside the work place at the University
sector as well.
The universities have some mechanisms to solve
these situations, usually a certain protocoll which
they follow whenever such a situation arises. Universities
also have mandatory work safety committees
and work safety personnell to handle matters
such as bullying or inappropriate behavior.
Whenever there is a problem at the work place,
for example a bullying situation, an employee must
first reach out to their supervisor or if the supervisor
is creating the problem, to their supervisor's supervisor.
An employee may also contact the employees'
work safety representative or the shop steward.
Sometimes these systems the universities use do
not work in practice or sometimes the employer refuses
or neglects to act in the matter. If that is the
case, the employee can contact the federal work
safety authorities at AVI (Aluehallintovirasto). AVI
gives advice in conflict situations and may also organize
an inspection at the work place if necessary
and for example give the employer recommendations.
AVI may and also see that the employer fulfills
its duty to do handle the situation at hand accordingly.
It seems that different universities have different
ways of solving problems or conflicts at the work
place. Some seem to have better understanding of
how to solve these kinds of problems and that these
situations often need follow-ups for several years
Sometimes the trade unions are also involved in
conflict matters, when the member needs for example
legal assistance. We at the trade union try to help as best we can, sometimes helping
the members answer questions, sometimes
possibly taking part in meetings or negotiations
at the work place.
In the end, the employer has a legal responsibility
to act to resolve the conflict according
to the Occupational Safety and Health Act,
after an employee has brough to the employer's attention
that there is a conflict situation at the work
place. If the employer will not act they may face legal
consequences. Trade unions, work safety representatives
and shop stewards help employees see these
matters through and give assistance and support in
For further information, please visit https://www.avi.fi/, http://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/kaannokset/1958/en19580299.pdf
after fixed-term employment
Does your employment end at the beginning of the
summer or at the end of July? You can secure your
income with unemployment allowance for the period
during which you have no earned income. However, keep
in mind the processing period.
More information on the conditions for claiming
earnings-related allowance and the attachments required
for the application, for example, are available on the website
of the Teachers' Unemployment Fund at www.opetk.fi.
There is also a link on our website to the online earningsrelated
allowance application service Openetti.
Teachers' Unemployment Fund's webpages are now
also in English. See: www.opetk.fi
text Mia Weckman
lawyer, the Finnish union of
university researchers and teachers
- Painetussa lehdessä sivu 42