Trade Union UNIO rules

Name, registered office and operating area

Section 1

The association’s name is Ammattiliitto Unio ry in Finnish, Fackförbundet Unio rf in Swedish and Unio Trade Union in English and it will be referred to hereinafter as “the Union”. The Union’s registered office is in Helsinki and its operating area is the whole of Finland.

Purpose and function

Section 2

As a national interest group, the Union’s purpose is to promote and develop the supervision of the interests of its members, as well as other labour market activities and general social well-being.

The Union’s other purposes are to:

  • promote the professional unionisation of the member groups it represents.
  • develop and supervise the professional, social and legal interests of the member groups it represents.
  • take action to strengthen the solidarity and mutual activities of the members it represents.

 

Section 3

To implement its purpose the Union

  • will participate in necessary collaboration with other organisations in Finland and abroad.
  • will represent its members and act on their behalf in issues concerning them.
  • will influence social, industrial policy and international decision-making by giving presentations and putting forward initiatives.
  • will support and direct the activities of its member organisations.
  • in accordance with the negotiation codes and in collaboration with the member associations in question, will prepare and negotiate collective agreements and wage settlements that concern the member groups it represents and that are in the name of its member associations.
  • in accordance with the negotiation codes, will prepare and negotiate collective agreements and wage settlements that concern the member groups it represents and that are in its own name.
  • in accordance with the negotiation codes, will decide on the acceptance and termination of collective agreements under its own name, as well as on any industrial action to be taken and supervise compliance with agreements.
  • will carry out training and educational work as well as publishing activities.
  • may become a member of Finnish and international organisations if joining them is beneficial for the union.

 

To support its activities, the Union may

  • accept last wills and testaments, donations and subsidies.
  • establish sector-specific relief funds or other relief funds allocated for a specific purpose.
  • own and control fixed assets and other property, carry on lodging and restaurant activities, practise holiday benefit activities intended for members, implement raffles and carry out publishing.

Language of the Union

Section 4

The Union’s languages are Finnish and Swedish. Minutes for meetings are taken in Finnish.

Political commitment

 

Section 5

The Union is independent of any political parties.

 

Accepting members

Section 6

Registered associations that represent their members as a trade union and that accept the Union’s purpose and commit to following its rules, any contracts the Union has made and the decisions of its administrative bodies may be accepted as ordinary members of the Union.

A written membership application shall be delivered to the Union’s Executive Board and addressed to its Delegate Council, which will decide whether to accept the applicant as a member. The applicant’s rules, a report of the applicant’s number of members and financial statements for the last financial year shall be attached to the membership application.

In these rules, the Union’s members will be referred to as member organisations.

 

Member’s obligations

Section 7

A member organisation shall act in accordance with the Union’s rules and purposes and comply with the decisions of the Union’s bodies which are founded on these rules.

A member organisation shall report the number of its members to the Union in the way and during the time frame determined by the Union’s Executive Board.

The member organisation shall supply the Union with its annual report and financial statements in the way determined by the Executive Board.

The Union will collect the membership fees of its member organisations and remit from these a sum decided by the Delegate Council as a membership fee refund to the member organisations.  The Union determines the membership fees of its member organisations’ individual members in accordance with the requirements of the Union and its member organisations. Member organisations shall undertake to comply with the Union’s decisions concerning the amount of the membership fees.

In these rules, the Union’s membership fee refers to the difference between the membership fees of the member organisations’ individual members and the membership fee refund.

 

A member organisation’s resignation or termination of their membership

Section 8

A member organisation that wants to resign from the Union shall notify the Executive Board of their resignation in writing or in some other way that is in accordance with the Associations Act. The resignation shall come into force immediately.

The Union’s Delegate Council may terminate the membership of a member organisation that causes damage to the Union by its actions, acts against the Union’s purpose, fails to comply with a decision made by the Union’s Delegate Council or Executive Board, or neglects its obligations as a member organisation, including the violation of the regulations on membership fees. The membership of a member organisation whose membership has been terminated shall end immediately.

A resigned member organisation or one whose membership has been terminated shall lose all its rights in the Union at the same time as its membership ends.

The resigned member organisation or one whose membership has been terminated shall pay the Union all the charges which have fallen due or the basis of which was created before its membership ended, as well as all payments the member organisation has committed to for a prescribed time. In addition to the above-mentioned payments, the resigned member organisation or one whose membership has been terminated shall pay the Union a share of the annual membership fee that is in force at the moment the membership ends. This share of the annual membership fee shall cover the six months that follow the end of the membership. The membership fee is calculated in compliance with Section 7 of these rules.

 

Bodies

Section 9

The Union’s bodies are its Delegate Council, Executive Board and Steering Committee. The Union’s principal official is its executive director who participates in the meetings of the Union’s Executive Board, directs the Union’s operative activities and acts as the manager of the Union’s personnel. The Delegate Council may nominate sector-specific advisory committees for the purposes of negotiation activities. The Delegate Council may also nominate special bodies for other purposes.

 

Delegate Council

Section 10

The Delegate Council exercises the power of decision in the Union on behalf of the member organisations.

The Delegate Council has twenty-one (21) ordinary members and twenty-one (21) deputy members. The Delegate Council’s ordinary members are elected from the member organisations in proportion to their number of members, but in such a way that each member organisation has the right to elect at least one (1) member. The number of members is taken from the number of members on the last day of the last complete calendar year and does not include pensioner members. In addition, as many general deputy members from each member organisation shall be elected to join the Delegate Council as ordinary members who have been elected from that member organisation.

If a new member organisation joins the Union during the Delegate Council’s term, said member organisation shall have the right to elect one (1) ordinary member and one (1) deputy member to join the Delegate Council for the remainder of the Delegate Council’s term. In such a case, the Delegate Council’s number of members correspondingly increases by one.

The board of each member organisation shall provide the Union with the letters of attorney of the Delegate Council’s members and general deputy members and shall notify the Union of the names and addresses of the members and general deputy members in the manner and during the time frame specified by the Union’s Executive Board. At the same time, they shall notify the Union of the order in which the general deputy members shall act if an ordinary member is temporarily prevented from participating.

Detailed instructions for elections shall be determined in the election order which is approved in a meeting of the Delegate Council every three years.

A member and general deputy member of the Delegate Council shall be a member of a member organisation. If the prerequisite for the time of election ends, the term of the member or general deputy member in question in the Delegate Council shall also end. The member organisation is entitled to assign a new member or general deputy member in place of a resigned or retired ordinary member or general deputy member or in place of an ordinary or general deputy member who is unable to continue due to a permanent obstacle, of which fact the member organisation shall have notified the Union, for the remaining term of the Delegate Council. The Delegate Council shall confirm the commencement of the membership and in which order general deputy members shall act if an ordinary member is temporarily unable to participate.

The members of the Union’s Executive Board and the Union’s auditors and clerical workers have the right to attend and speak at the Delegate Council’s meetings.

The Delegate Council’s term is three years.

 

Meetings of the Delegate Council

Section 11

The Delegate Council’s meetings are either regular or extraordinary meetings.

On the Executive Board’s decision, a meeting of the Delegate Council can be attended via a data-communication link or some other technical aid.

For this purpose, the Delegate Council shall approve a voting and election order.

Decisions shall be made by a simple majority of votes. When the votes are fifty-fifty, the opinion the chairperson endorses shall win, except in elections and closed votes where the matter shall be settled by drawing a lot.

The Delegate Council has decision-making power when it has been convened according to the rules and when the chairperson or vice-chairperson of the Delegate Council and more than half of the Delegate Council’s members are present.

The Delegate Council’s regular meetings are its spring meeting held in April or June and its autumn meeting held between the beginning of October and the end of December.

 

The following issues shall be handled at the spring meeting:

  1. Annual report of the Union’s operations in the previous calendar year, compiled by the Executive Board.
  2. Financial statements and the auditor’s report for the previous financial year.
  3. Deciding on adopting the financial statements and releasing the Executive Board and other accountable parties from responsibility.
  4. Deciding on the allocation of surplus monies or the covering of deficit.
  5. Processing any new member applications.
  6. Dealing with any issues presented to the Executive Board’s representatives.
  7. Dealing with any initiatives put forward to the Delegate Council.
  8. Dealing with other issues mentioned in the invitation to the meeting.
  9. Dealing with any issues considered urgent by a qualified majority of three quarters (3/4), taking the provisions of section 24 of the Associations Act into account.

 

The following issues shall be handled at the autumn meeting:

  1. Deciding on a plan of action for the following year.
  2. Deciding on the remuneration to be paid the following year to the Delegate Council, Executive Board, members of committees and auditors, as well as on the criteria for the reimbursement of travelling expenses.
  3. Deciding on the following year’s budget.
  4. Deciding on the membership fees (in accordance with Section 7 of these rules) to be charged from member organisations. The amounts of membership fees may vary for different groups of members.
  5. Processing any new member applications.
  6. Dealing with any issues presented to the Executive Board’s representatives.
  7. Dealing with any initiatives put forward to the Delegate Council.
  8. Dealing with other issues mentioned in the invitation to the meeting.
  9. Dealing with any issues considered urgent by a qualified majority of three quarters (3/4), taking the provisions of section 24 of the Associations Act into account.

 

The chairperson of the Executive Board shall open the Delegate Council’s meeting at the first autumn meeting of the term. The following additional issues shall be handled at this meeting:

  1. Confirming the composition of the Delegate Council.
  2. Electing the chairperson and vice-chairperson of the Delegate Council from amongst the ordinary members of the Delegate Council.
  3. Electing the chairperson of the Executive Board for the term that begins after the end of the autumn meeting and continues until the end of the first autumn meeting of the next Delegate Council.
  4. Electing the vice-chairperson of the Executive Board for the term that begins after the end of the autumn meeting and continues until the end of the first autumn meeting of the next Delegate Council.
  5. Electing six (6) ordinary members for the Executive Board and a personal deputy member for each of them for the term that begins after the end of the autumn meeting and continues until the end of the first autumn meeting of the next Delegate Council.
  6. Electing an auditor and deputy auditor until the Delegate Council’s spring meeting to be held in three years’ time. The auditor and deputy auditor shall be approved auditors or an approved audit firm.

 

The Delegate Council is convened by the Executive Board. It is the Executive Board’s responsibility to notify the Delegate Council’s members, deputy members and auditors about the Delegate Council’s regular meeting at least two (2) months before the meeting.

Invitations to the Delegate Council’s regular meeting and meeting agendas shall be sent either by letter or email to the Delegate Council’s members and auditors at least one (1) week before the meeting. Invitations to the Delegate Council’s extraordinary meeting shall be sent either by letter or email to the Delegate Council’s members and auditors at least three (3) days before the meeting. The invitation shall list the issues to be dealt with. The invitation shall also mention if remote participation is possible in the way determined by the Executive Board.

A Delegate Council’s extraordinary meeting shall be held when the Executive Board considers it necessary or at least one quarter (1/4) of the Delegate Council’s ordinary members make a written proposal about it to the Executive Board, itemising the issue they wish to discuss at the meeting.

 

Executive Board

Section 12

The Executive Board convenes at the invitation of the chairperson or, in the event that he or she is prevented from attending, the vice-chairperson.

Decisions shall be made by a simple majority of votes. When the votes are fifty-fifty, the opinion the chairperson endorses shall win, except in elections and closed votes where the matter shall be settled by drawing a lot.

The Executive Board has decision-making power when the chairperson or vice-chairperson and at least four members of the Executive Board are present.

 

It is the Executive Board’s duty to:

  • manage the Union’s operations in accordance with these rules and the decisions made in the Delegate Council’s meetings.
  • take care of contract negotiations and other negotiations.
  • convene the Delegate Council’s meetings and prepare the matters to be handled in them.
  • manage the Union’s assets and other property and take care of its bookkeeping and the preparation of its financial statements.
  • keep a list of members.
  • take care of communications, publicity, publishing and training activities.
  • keep in contact with Finnish and international organisations and represent the Union.
  • choose the Union’s representatives for Finnish and international organisations.
  • choose the Union’s representatives for various working groups.
  • hire and discharge the Union’s clerical workers and confirm their wage bases and duties.

 

The Executive Board shall appoint bodies as it considers necessary to prepare matters to be dealt with.

 

Steering Committee

Section 13

The Executive Board is assisted by the Steering Committee, which includes the Executive Board’s chairperson and vice-chairperson and the executive director.

 

Initiatives

Section 14

A member organisation has the right to put forward initiatives at the Delegate Council’s stated meeting.  An initiative for the spring meeting shall be addressed to the Delegate Council and delivered to the Executive Board by the end of January, and an initiative for the autumn meeting shall be delivered by the end of July at the latest.

The Executive Board shall submit an initiative delivered in the way described above to a meeting of the Delegate Council, including its own opinion.

 

Operational and financial year

Section 15

The Union’s operational and financial year is a calendar year. Financial statements, the associated documents and the Executive Board’s annual report shall be submitted to the auditor by the end of March. The auditor shall provide the Executive Board with their written audit opinion at the latest two weeks before the Delegate Council’s spring meeting.

 

Right to sign on behalf of the Union

Section 16

The Executive Board’s chairperson, vice-chairperson and the clerical employees designated by the Executive Board, always two together, have the right to sign on behalf of the Union.

 

Matters requiring special decision-making

Section 17

The Delegate Council shall decide on the code of practice for financial, administrative and negotiation matters and other corresponding provisions that supplement the Union’s rules. Decisions concerning these codes of practice and corresponding provisions shall be made by the Delegate Council by a majority vote of at least two thirds (2/3).

 

Changing the rules

Section 18

Decisions concerning the changing of these rules shall be made by the Delegate Council by a majority vote of at least two thirds (2/3).

The invitation to a meeting shall mention that the agenda includes the proposed change of rules. The invitation shall be accompanied by a proposal for the new rules.

 

Dissolution of the Union

Section 19

The decision to dissolve the Union shall be made in two consecutive meetings of the Delegate Council with at least two (2) months between them. One of these meetings shall be the Delegate Council’s regular meeting. The decisions shall be made by a majority vote of at least three quarters (3/4). The invitation to the meeting shall mention that the agenda includes the dissolution of the Union.

When the Union is dissolved, any residual assets shall be distributed in a way that promotes the Union’s purpose and that is determined in the meeting where the dissolution decision is made. If the Union is disbanded, its assets shall be used for the same purpose.

Emergency provisions

Section 20

The provisions specified in Section 11 concerning notification about the Delegate Council’s meeting and summons to a meeting do not need to be complied with as regards the first meeting of the Delegate Council after the founding of the Union.