Why join a union in Norway?

In Scandinavia and in Norway especially,  being art of a labour union is very common. Unions are key actors in labour negotiations. For PhD candidates, post-doc and temporary scientific staff, they represent a safety net that can help you when you have questions or get in trouble. Your union representatives can answer questions about contracts, working conditions, working environment and salaries, to only name a few. Some unions also organize networking events and courses for their members.

Union representatives know the university, the laws and regulations and where to turn to when you have questions about employment and working conditions. They work as a knowledge hub for their members. Unions can also advise and support you in case of conflict with your supervisor, your hierarchy or your coworkers, or if you have questions about your rights as an employee. For example, you can request for a union representative to join you in meetings or concilation process to solve such conflicts if you need someone to support you. Finally, unions can provide legal support for their members if needed. More information about membership benefits can be found at the individual union’s webpages.

Unions in Norway are independent organizations. Employees can freely choose whether to join a union and what union to join. Unions in Norway work in close collaboration with the leadership at the institutions and companies where they are present. They play an important role in negotiating salaries and working conditions. Local union representatives in Norway are chosen by unions members at the annual meeting in the local union group. Any members of the particular union can attend these meetings. 

Which union should I pick?

There are several good options to choose from. Some organisations are specific to a field or a profession, others are open to all employees. For a list of labour unions present at NTNU, please visit the dedicated Intranet page on Innsida

Is it safe to join a union?

It is very common and completely safe to join a union in Norway. In fact we strongly advise you to do so to protect your rights as an employee and help you navigate the intricacies of your contract.

Is it expensive to join a union?

Most unions have special offers for students, PhDs and post-docs. Union fees can be deducted from your taxes.