Helsinki (23.10.2019 - Heikki Jokinen) Engineers have now been organised in Finland for one hundred years. The first association of engineers was established in Tampere in 1919. Now the Union of Professional Engineers in Finland IL celebrates its first centennial.
The 70,000 members are engineers, other technical experts and engineering students. IL is the second largest member union of Akava, the Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff in Finland. It joined Akava in 1976.
In this year of celebration the Union has organised more than forty events around the country. The main theme is Creating the future, complemented by five sub themes: Fall in love with an engineer, Becoming an engineer, Family and feelings, Challenge and the Wind of history.
Among the many activities organised for the year: a concert tour, events in various music festivals, school visits, sports events and events for the whole family.
In September IL was celebrated at the City of Light event in Jyväskylä. The City was decorated with light installations designed by engineers.
A documentary film produced for the centennial gives a portrait of four engineers. How did they become engineers and how do they see their life and work? The film has been screened at various events during the year.
A number of these events and other activities have been conducted in tandem with cooperation partners - mainly companies working in the same field as the Union.
Major collective agreements terminates in October
Notwithstanding the celebrations the Union remains committed to and is fully engaged in its fundamental and day-to-day work, collective bargaining. Four collective agreements are due to come to an end at the end of October in a number of sectors: the technology industry, IT-services, planning and consulting, and the ICT branch.
The Union of Professional Engineers in Finland is a negotiation partner in two collective bargaining organisations, in the private sector with the Federation of Professional and Managerial Staff YTN and in the public sector with the Negotiation Organisation for Public Sector Professionals JUKO.
The Union aims to terminate, in this negotiation round, the 24 extra unpaid annual working hours added as a part of the national Competitiveness Pact in 2016. It is also working towards guaranteeing members' purchasing power and improving working life wellbeing.
58 per cent of union members have a degree in engineering, members of the Association of IT sector employees make up 10 per cent of the total membership, engineering students 27 per cent and other members 5 per cent.
Women comprise 5 per cent of members. The IL members' average gross income is 4,272 euro a month. There are more than 1,200 Union shop stewards at working places.