Join a union

Most employees in Finland are smart enough to belong to a trade union. You should follow their example!
Photo: Ramon Espelt / Gorilla

Joining a union is easy. The simplest approach in most workplaces is to approach the elected shop steward, who is always worth getting to know.

You may also complete an online membership application form on the union website or at After finding the right union, all you need to do is click on the Join now link, carefully complete the application form that appears, and forward it to the union as instructed. This process initiates your union membership.

SAK toll-free number 0800 179 279 also helps you to find the right union. You can call us anytime between 9 and 15, Monday to Friday.

Student members

Most SAK-affiliated unions also accept student members, who are not usually required to pay a membership fee. If you work during your studies, then you may join the union and the unemployment fund as a full member. This can help you qualify more quickly for earnings-related unemployment benefit.

Membership fees

Trade union members pay a membership subscription, which is generally a certain sum each month. The size of the subscription depends on the union, and is generally between 1 and 2 per cent of the employee’s gross pay.

The impact of the union membership subscription on the member’s take-home pay is substantially less than this, however, as the subscription is tax-deductible. This taxation policy is clear evidence that society encourages union membership.

It is common for employers to agree with the trade union to deduct union subscriptions directly from the member’s pay. This enables the member to benefit from the tax deductibility of the subscription immediately, and with no separate tax formalities. A trade union member may also choose to pay the subscription separately, for example if there is some reason why it is not possible to make such an agreement with the employer.

Students are not usually required to pay a membership fee.