Akava membership continues to grow

The total membership of Akava affiliates was 596,947 at the turn of the year. This represents an increase of 8,082 members as compared to the previous year. The total figure includes 111,730 student members, a category which increased by 476 people. At the beginning of the year, the membership was joined by Rehabilitation Experts, which encompasses both the Finnish Association of Occupational Therapists, and the Finnish Association of Physiotherapists.

The increase in the number of Akava members throughout the 2000s is explained by an increase in the number of highly-educated persons and by dynamic student activism among the affiliates.

“Akava stands out from the rest of the confederations as an organisation that promotes the interests of highly-educated experts, supervisors, managers, entrepreneurs, sole traders, the self-employed and students,” states Risto Kauppinen, Director of Organisational Activities.

Unionisation considered important

A survey was conducted in November 2015 by TNS Gallup for the purpose of clarifying the reasons behind the unionisation of Akava members. According to the survey, 85 per cent of Akava members under the age of 50 consider trade unions necessary. As many as 89 per cent of members under the age of 35 believe that the role of the trade unions will either increase in importance or remain unchanged in the future.

According to members, the most important services provided by trade unions include the promotion of professional interests, the assistance of lawyers and experts, insurances and other benefits and the union’s collective bargaining activities. Member magazines, union training courses and events, social influence and guidance on pay issues were also appreciated.  When separately asked, the most important reasons for membership were considered to be the security that it provides, i.e., earnings-related unemployment security, guidance on pay issues and employment security.

“We asked Akava members whether they would recommend membership in their trade union to their friends and acquaintances. 77 per cent of the respondents would recommend their own trade union,” says Kauppinen.

In November, Akava commissioned a survey on the TNS Gallup Forum regarding the viewpoints on unionisation as held by Akava members and highly-educated non-unionised persons under the age of 50. 1000 people contributed to the survey.

The membership data in the media release is based on the membership figures submitted by Akava member organisations as of 1 January 2016.

The total number of members in each Akava affiliate can be found at

Additional information:
Risto Kauppinen, Director of Organisational Activities, tel. +358 (0)400 529 029, twitter: @mrkauppinen

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