Who can join?
Since OAJ is in principle an organization that represents the teaching profession, one qualification for membership is paid employment as a teacher or educator.
All those who are engaged in this field are eligible irrespective of their education, the qualifications or the designation of the post they occupy.
Persons other than those fulfilling the traditional functions of teacher, head teacher or principal can be accepted as OAJ members if they perform other functions connected with teaching (e.g. in its administration, planning or development), especially if they are qualified as teachers or have a background in teaching.
In the case of pre-school education, a person who is qualified as a social worker or social educator and is employed as a kindergarten teacher or head of a day-care centre can also be accepted as an OAJ member.
Also eligible for membership are experts in teaching and education occupying managerial positions in local authorities or at nursery or secondary schools or are working independently. These should apply to join the Opsia (Opetus- ja sivistystoimen Asiantuntijat) organization, www.opsia.fi.
Non-Finnish nationals may also be accepted as OAJ members provided they meet the membership requirements.
The local OAJ association or teachers’ association to which a teacher applies for membership will be determined by the field of education in which he or she works and the institution in which he or she has a position or teaches the greatest number of hours. The local association may also be determined by the place where the administrative office of the institution is located.
Enquiries on all matters concerned with OAJ membership may be addressed to the Membership registry, firstname.lastname@example.org
It is advisable to apply for membership of OAJ at once on taking up a teaching position, so that the necessary qualifying period for earnings-related unemployment benefit will be completed within the first year of service. It should also be remembered that this requires a weekly working time of at least 8 hours.Membership of the Teachers’ Unemployment Fund begins from the same day as OAJ membership and contributions to the fund are included in the union fees.