Opetusalan Ammattijärjestö

Negotiation procedure and exerting influence

The interests of staff at the workplace are safeguarded by the chief shop steward and other shop stewards, and by occupational safety and health representatives and the local trade union. All of these roles differ from one another, and they are all needed. 

Shop stewards represent the negotiating organisation and serve members
The shop steward’s position is based on the collective agreement. When the application of agreements is discussed or negotiated locally, the shop steward represents the negotiating organisation. Shop stewards also pass on information and announcements, monitor compliance with agreements and ensure labour peace, among other duties. Because shop stewards represent the trade union, they serve only the members of the trade union.
Shop stewards monitor labour peace and ensure that employees and public servants comply with agreements and provisions concerning the employment relationship. Shop stewards assist members in matters related to, for instance, pay, special personal leave and working hours. Shop stewards are subject to a nondisclosure obligation.
Occupational health and safety representatives represent all workers
The tasks of occupational safety and health (OSH) representatives are statutory. They represent the employees in their dealings with the employer and labour protection authorities. OSH representatives do not represent trade unions. They are experts in employment matters and represent all employees at the workplace.
Local trade unions are responsible for local agreements
The operations of local trade unions are based on the trade union’s rules and the mandates given by the trade union.