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JHL has plenty of nice stuff to do for all members who wish to develop their occupational skills further and take more part in their trade union’s activities. We enable you to make a difference to JHL and working life and have fun with like-minded people. You’ll have lots of great experiences and make new friends!
In JHL, each member belongs to a local branch. The branches are members of JHL. There are approximately 450 branches around Finland.
Local branches work to improve their members’ working conditions and rights in society. In addition to protection of interests, local branches arrange leisure activities and courses for their members.
Branch actives run the activities of the branch. Among other things, they arrange meetings, courses and events. In addition, they are actively involved in, say, preparing for strikes. There are many roles in branches. These include chair, vice chair, secretary, treasurer, spokesperson, person in charge of youth activities, school agent, and event organiser.
How can I become a branch active?
It’s easy to get involved in the activities of your branch: Contact your local branch directly or go to its meeting. Let them know you wish to take part more actively. There’s something to do for everyone depending on your interests and competence. If you don’t know which branch you belong to, go to myJHL to find out.
Member recruiters literally recruit new members to JHL. When you get people to join, we’ll reward you with high-quality product awards.
How can I become a member recruiter?
Each of our members can become a member recruiter anywhere and at any time, there’s no need to notify us separately. You can recommend JHL membership to a friend from school, co-worker, relative, neighbour, or to some other acquaintance.
How do I recommend?
It’s easy to recommend JHL membership. Send a message through the recommendation website on WhatsApp, Messenger, by text message or e-mail. Make use of the pre-completed message or write your own.
For us to reward you, your membership number must be on your friend’s membership form. The number is on your membership card. To find out the number, you can also log into the myJHL service. Go to MEMBER INFORMATION > PERSONAL INFORMATION.
When you send a pre-completed message through the recommendation website, your membership number will be included in the message automatically. In case you write a message of your own, remember to ask your friend to add your membership number on the membership form.
Awards for recruiting new members
When your friend joins JHL, and they’ve mentioned your membership number on their joining form, you’ll start to earn points. The points enable you to redeem JHL Bonus Awards products. There are all kinds of high-quality products available.
For each new member that pays a membership fee, you will receive 30 points, and for each new student member 12 points. When it comes to paying members, the points will be recorded in the member recruiter’s information when the first membership fee has been paid. As for student members, the points are registered immediately.
What kinds of awards are there, and how many points do I need for them?
Learn more about the bonus awards on this page, click click! Username and password for logging in:
Check your JHL Bonus Awards points and order your award right away. The points will be updated in JHL Bonus Awards once a month.
If you run into any problems with your points as a member recruiter, please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The rules of the bonus system are on the JHL Bonus Awards page at Rules.
Shop stewards represent employees who belong to JHL in the workplace. Employees can contact the shop steward if there’s anything unclear about their employment relationship that they’re wondering about. The shop steward helps in problematic situations and contacts the union if the matter needs to be investigated more thoroughly.
What do shop stewards do?
- make sure that workplaces comply with agreements and laws
- help with employment questions
- negotiate with the employer
- work together with other personnel representatives
- represent JHL and function as contact people in the workplace
Would I be a suitable shop steward?
If you identify yourself with the points listed below, you’d be an excellent shop steward!
- You are familiar with the daily life of your workplace.
- You want to listen to the views of your co-workers.
- You want to represent the employees and support them.
- You want to give advice and help in employment matters.
- You want to improve your workplace.
- You want to pass on information.
JHL gives its full support to shop stewards in their work. You don’t need to have any advance knowledge, we’ll train you. If necessary, you’ll also be advised by JHL’s regional offices, central office, and lawyers. You also have an opportunity to network with other shop stewards.
How can I become a shop steward?
In brief: If you became interested, contact your local branch or the nearest regional office! They’ll give you more information.
Lengthier explanation of how shop steward election takes place: The employees will either elect a shop steward in the branch’s autumn meeting, or in an election meeting. Shop stewards are elected for a minimum of two years and for a maximum of four years.
The election is either organised by the local branch Board or, if workplace employees are members of several branches, the Boards organise the election together.
If there are several candidates, an election committee is selected to organise the election. Before the election, it’s necessary to agree on the number of shop stewards with the employer. It’s also necessary to determine the employee groups (division) represented by the shop steward.
The OSH representative represents all employees of a workplace – not just JHL members – in matters related to safety and health.
What do OSH representatives do?
- represent employees in OSH issues such as handling employee initiatives or problem situations, and in OSH inspections
- work together with OSH managers, occupational healthcare services and other OSH parties
- look into workplace conditions and the work community’s situation with the help of workplace visits, statistics and reports
- look into OSH legislation
- get employees to focus on safe ways of working
- participate in influencing matters and changes directly impacting employees’ safety and health
- participate in the planning and implementation of risk assessments
- participate in drawing up the workplace’s shared principles and rules
- participate in developing the workplace further in OSH matters
- monitor the implementation of agreed measures
- keep OSH matters relevant by making proposals, being active and proactive
- interrupt dangerous work
- cooperate with other OSH parties and personnel representatives
The deputy occupational safety and health representative manages the representative’s tasks when the representative is prevented from doing so. The occupational safety and health representative must inform the employer if they are unable to perform their duties, and that the duties will be transferred to the deputy representative.
How can I become an occupational safety and health representative?
The representative (and two deputy representatives) must be elected in workplaces with at least ten employees. However, even in smaller workplaces the employees can, if they wish, elect an OSH representative amongst themselves. They are elected through an election held in the workplace. The election is organised by the OSH manager.
Everyone is entitled to nominate themselves in OSH representative elections and to participate in the election of their workplace’s OSH representative. The representative’s term of office is, depending on the agreement sector, from two to four years.
In the municipal sector, in parishes and in several private sector workplaces, the OSH representative elections usually take place in October-December.
OSH representatives get constant occupational safety and health training from us. You also have the opportunity to be actively involved in OSH cooperation with various parties.
More information about being an OSH representative
OSH representatives have the right to information and training
The OSH representative is entitled to obtain from the employer the necessary information to carry out the cooperation duties. The right to obtain information includes the right to
- gain access to documents and lists concerning OSH, which are maintained by the employer or which the employer has in their possession
- gain access to the agreement on arranging occupational healthcare or a description of the occupational healthcare arranged and the occupational healthcare action plan
- receive copies of these documents if it is necessary for carrying out the duties
The employer must ensure that the OSH representative and deputy representative have the opportunity to receive training required by their position. The need for training and arranging training must be discussed within two months from the election of the OSH representative.
Training shall take place during working hours, unless otherwise agreed in, say, the collective agreement. The training must not result in costs or loss of income for the OSH representative and deputy representative.
Occupational safety and health representative’s time use
The employer must release the OSH representative from their regular duties for a reasonable period of time that the representative requires for managing the duties of OSH representative. Excusing the representative from the duties can only be prevented temporarily and for a valid reason.
The employer must provide to the OSH representative a real opportunity to manage their duties as an OSH representative. The Act on Occupational Safety and Health Enforcement and Cooperation on Occupational Safety and Health at Workplaces contains a detailed list of matters that shall be taken into account when determining the time required for the management of the representative’s duties.
The de minimis clause requires that if at least ten employees work regularly in the workplace, the occupational safety and health representative representing the group of employees facing the greatest harm or hazard shall be released from their regular work for taking care of representative’s duties for at least four hours during each period of four successive calendar weeks.
Compensation for loss of income
The employer shall compensate OSH representatives for any loss of income incurred due to taking care of representative’s duties during working hours and pay compensation for an OSH representative’s necessary duties carried out outside working hours.
The employer shall provide the OSH representative with facilities that are necessary for carrying out their duties. The OSH representative is entitled to use the workplace’s office and communications equipment for managing their representative duties.
More information about the topic:
Occupational safety representative, election of representative – Centre for Occupational Safety
Occupational safety committee – Centre for Occupational Safety
Occupational safety ombudsman – Centre for Occupational Safety
Occupational safety manager – Centre for Occupational Safety
Occupational safety personnel register – Centre for Occupational Safety
The Union Council is JHL’s highest executive body. JHL’s members are the ones who decide about the union’s operations. The Union Council consists of 120 of our regular members who have been elected as representatives. Each union member has the right to vote in the Union Council elections. The representatives are always elected for five years at a time. The current Union Council was elected in early 2022, and it started its operations in a special assembly meeting in June 2022.
What does the Union Council do?
JHL’s Union Council assembles twice a year in spring and autumn meetings to decide about matters important for the union. These include strategic plan, budget and approving the financial statement. If necessary, the Union Council will assemble in supplementary meetings to process the negotiation results concerning the largest collective agreements (municipal sector, state, church and private social sector).
The Union Council’s duties have been determined in union rules. According to them, the duties are:
- the Union Council chair and two vice chairs amongst themselves
- the union president and two chief executive officers
- the members of the union’s Executive Committee and their deputy members
- an audit firm to be the auditor.
- the union’s strategic plan and long-term plans
- the fees of Union Council and Executive Committee members
- freedom of responsibility for the Executive Committee
- the amount of the membership fee
- the amount of the membership fee refund paid to member branches
- the action plan
- the budget
- approving national collective agreements and essential changes
- other matters presented by the Executive Committee.
- the union’s operations and financial management.
- the election rules for electing the Union Council.
Investigating and resolving
- possible complaints made about matters mentioned in union rules.
- the union’s annual report
- the financial statement
- the initiatives put forward by member branches and organisational members.
How can I become a Union Council representative?
The Union Council is elected for five years at a time. Each JHL member can nominate themself in the elections.
The current Union Council’s term of office is 2022–2027. When the Union Council’s term of office is coming to an end, we’ll inform about the upcoming elections and how to nominate oneself in our channels.
JHL’s Executive Committee executes the Union Council’s decisions, leads the union’s administration and operations, and prepares matters for the Union Council. The Executive Committee also approves some of the collective agreements, determines our goals for the collective agreement negotiations, and looks after the union’s assets and funds. The Executive Committee assembles in a meeting approximately once a month.
How can I become a member of the Executive Committee?
To become a member of our Executive Committee, you first need to be a Union Council representative. You should thus nominate yourself in JHL’s next Union Council elections!
When the new Union Council has been elected, it will select the Executive Committee from amongst itself in its first meeting. Those who have been selected for the Executive Committee will not continue as Union Council members. New members will be called in to replace them in the order corresponding to the result of the Union Council elections.
Before the meeting, Executive Committee member selections are negotiated on with regional representatives so that the composition of the new Executive Committee will be as diverse a representation of union members as possible. A goal for the negotiations is finding an ideal composition of people representing various localities in Finland, genders, occupational sectors and collective agreements.
The Executive Committee has 25 members. In addition to the union president and chief executive officer, the Executive Committee consists of 23 Union Council representatives: 18 from the municipal sector, four from private sectors and one from the state sector.
We operate in eight regions around Finland. Each one of them has a JHL regional office. There is a regional group in each of the eight regions.
The regional group gathers in a proactive manner the region’s change projects related to protection of interests, union activities and public affairs. It also evaluates and further develops operational models for the projects to be utilised by the region’s branches, and evaluates the effectiveness of measures.
Regional groups’ operations are systematic and organised by the regional offices. The operations are carried out together with the region’s actives and regional office.
How can I become a member of a regional group?
How the members are selected varies from one region to another. Get in touch with your region’s head of region. They will give you more information about the regional group’s operations and member selections.
Are you interested in developing your occupational sector further with people representing the same occupational group? Would you like to talk about matters related to your occupational sector and get peer support from professionals representing the same sector?
Our national occupational sector forums promote working life quality and develop it further. The forums are meant for discussing specific aspects related to an occupational sector, creating community spirit and developing occupational competence further. Regional networks strengthen local cooperation on a regional level.
Come make an impact to the union and to working life! Every member of JHL is welcome to join an occupational sector forum. To find the right forum for you, visit your occupational sector’s page.
School agents visit educational institutions. Agents attend school events, maintain JHL’s presentation stand, and talk about working life and the trade union. School agents often give students an introduction to the trade union, which makes this assignment very important.
We train our agents regularly. In addition, the agents get together annually during agent academy days. There they share experiences and hear about new tips and ideas. To find more information about events, visit our course and event calendar (in Finnish).
JHL pays school agents a lecture fee, or a fee for entrance hall info sessions as an hourly fee. The lecture fee is €30/hour, for entrance hall info sessions the fee is €15/hour. As a rule, trips to and from the destination will be remunerated in accordance with the fees of the most inexpensive form of public transport. Possible lost earnings will be remunerated on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the actual loss of earnings on the basis of a certificate of non-payment of salary received from the employer.
How can I become a school agent?
We’re glad you’re excited! Get in touch with Union Activities Specialist Anni Järvinen: email@example.com / 050 5129 882
JHL’s Nuorisofoorumi (Youth Forum) is a path for young people to make an impact in the trade union. Any JHL member under 35 can join Nuorisofoorumi. The forum members represent various occupational sectors, educational institutions, genders and localities. For more information about NuFo and applying for it, visit this page.
JHL has six regional immigrant networks, the duty of which is to make our immigrant members better informed about working life and employee rights. In addition, they function as forums for discussing the trade union and current working life matters. Having fun is also an important aspect! Every JHL member with an immigrant background is welcome to join an immigrant network. For more information about the networks, go here.
We want to promote solidarity in Finland and elsewhere in the world. All our operations must be responsible, environmentally and socially sustainable. As a member of JHL, you can take part in the solidarity work of the union, its partners or your branch.
What do solidarity ambassadors do?
By becoming a solidarity ambassador for your workplace or branch, you can campaign, inform, and make a difference for proper working conditions, also in developing countries. You choose how much or little you want to participate. We inform the ambassadors about current topics and organise various kinds of events and courses from time to time.
We cooperate intensely with Trade Union Solidarity Centre of Finland SASK, Fairtrade Finland, and Finnwatch. Other partners that we have include Nose Day Foundation and Fingo, an umbrella organisation of numerous Finnish civil society organisations.
Our solidarity ambassadors also have a Facebook group of their own.
How can I become a solidarity ambassador?
Sign up as a solidarity ambassador by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your contact information, language skills, branch and workplace in the message. If you’re a student, let us know what you’re studying and where. That’s the way to get things started!