On the European level, the key channel of influence for the Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers is the Higher Education and Research Standing Committee (HERSC) within the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE). The HERSC holds a central position on issues concerning the university sector. One constant agenda item at the HERSC meetings concerns the preparation and follow-up work related to the Bologna Process. The Union has also contributed to an ETUCE initiative focused on building European social dialogue within the sector of higher education. The dialogue concerns gender equality, mobility and the operational environment for junior researchers.
The Union is an active participant in Eurodoc (European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers), which oversees the interests of junior researchers.
The Nordic trade unions within the university sector collaborate in various matters including salary and wage comparisons, local wage negotiation practices, the use of time among university employees, academic freedom, career structure development, structural changes within the universities, and university funding.
In collaboration with Akava and Eurocadres, the European supervisory organisation for academic professionals and managerial staff, the Union is working on topical issues, such as the assessment of the content of the EU’s future HORIZON 2020 research and innovation programme, and in the IREER project that pursues to advance the working conditions of researchers. The intention is to work on behalf of researchers to develop a common European work contract model that not only takes the special characteristics of research work into account but also promotes mobility.
International interest supervision is long-term in nature, so the results of our work are not often visible until years later. The supervision of interests is based on the building of and interaction between powerful co-operative networks, as well as the fostering of fundamental trade union principles, such as solidarity and equality.