Kindergarten Teachers Union in Finland (LTOL)

The Kindergarten Teachers Union of Finland is a professional organisation of early childhood education. We promote the recognition of our kindergarten teachers and early childhood education, and also support children’s rights.

Members of the Kindergarten Teachers Union are working as kindergarten teachers, special education kindergarten teachers, day-care center directors, guided family day-care directors, day-care inspectors and other professionals in the field of early childhood education.

The Kindergarten Teachers Union in Finland (LTOL) is a trade union with over 14 000 members, and growing. We are part of the Trade Union of Education in Finland (OAJ). OAJ is an interest organisation for all teachers with over 120 000 members. Both LTOL and OAJ are part of an umbrella organization AKAVA, the Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff in Finland.

Collective bargaining is in the hands of AKAVA and Public Sector Negotiating Commission (JUKO). OAJ also negotiates collective agreements concerning private day-care centers.

Members are served by local shop stewards, special advisers and officials of regional associations and the offices of the LTOL and OAJ. Responsibility for looking after kindergarten teachers interests are divided between OAJ and LTOL. OAJ is responsible for salaries- and employment-related issues and LTOL professional matters.

Kindergarten Teachers Union gathers together all the kindergarten teacher Associations in Finland. LTOL have members approximately in 250 associations, which are mainly local teacher associations. At the moment (2016) there are 30 kindergarten teacher associations, of which five of them are Swedish-speaking, and two pedagogical associations. In many municipalities and cities, kindergarten teachers don’t have their own associations but they are part of the local teachers association.

Administration of Kindergarten Teachers Union in Finland

The highest decision maker is the Kindergarten Teachers Union Council. The council is elected for four years at the time and has 45 members from all over Finland. The annual Council meetings are held in spring and autumn. Every four years the Council elects the President of the Kindergarten Teachers Union, deputy president, chairperson and the deputy chairperson of the Council.

The Union board has 14 members including the President and deputy president of the Union. The kindergarten teacher associations nominates the representatives for the board, and Council accepts the nominees to the board. The Executive Board meet once a month.

Currently, the President of the Kindergarten Teachers Union of Finland on term 2014-2018 is Anitta Pakanen from Oulu.

History of the Kindergarten Teachers Union in a nutshell

The Kindergarten Teachers Union of Finland was founded in January 1919, with about 100 participants from all over Finland. The meeting decided rules for the association. The first paragraph stated that “the meaning of Kindergarten Teachers Union in Finland is to progress the development of kindergarten work and enhance the meaning of kindergarten teacher’s profession in society, economically and developmental issues. First president of the Kindergarten Teachers Union was Elisabeth Alander.

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