OAJ in its present form was founded in 1973. Since 1991, all teachers, from preschool teachers to university lecturers, have been eligible for membership of this all-embracing union.
The membership also includes teacher students and retired teachers. The fact that all teachers belong to one union is exceptional.
Finland’s first teachers’ union was formed towards the end of the 19th century. In the early decades, teachers at various levels of the educational system had their own unions. The principal aim behind unionization was to strengthen solidarity among teachers and to develop school teaching and pedagogics.