Union membership

Who can become a member?

Full membership

The union may grant full membership to a person working as an officer on a vessel or in a corresponding position. The board decides who may be granted full membership and approves membership application forms. Application can be filled out online

Student membership

The students of Maritime Academy can apply for an exemption from membership fees during their studies. This also applies to the students of other educational institutions.

Support membership

The board of the union may grant support membership to persons with ties to the maritime industry. Support members are not entitled to vote in the union and do not hold the right to unemployment benefits. A full member who finds employment in a sector where the union is not involved in collective bargaining may apply for support membership. This requires full membership in another trade union.


A member retiring from the industry may either remain a full member by paying the full membership fee based on his or her pension or apply for support membership and pay the membership fee of a support member.

Membership for associations

A registered association whose members are employed as officers or in equivalent positions and which is committed to following the rules and regulations of the union may become a member of the Finnish Ship’s Officers’ Union. A registered association may also be granted support membership.

Membership base

The current membership base includes ship’s officers, navigating officers and maritime pilots in international operations, supply officers and public health nurses of passenger ships, officers and navigating officers of near-coastal traffic and inland navigation, officials and civil servants in maritime administration, including maritime inspectors, officers of the ships of the Finnish Maritime Administration, the Finnish Shipping Enterprise, the governmental Tieliikelaitos road traffic and maintenance agency, and the Government of Åland as well as sea pilots of Saimaa Canal, port officers and controllers of municipal ports, and teachers at maritime colleges.
The union has around 2 500 members. 

How to become a member?

Applicants seek membership with the application form approved by the union. The form also includes an application for membership in the Unemployment Fund of Aaria.  Aaria accepts their membership. The applicants must sign an authorisation form to enable deducting the membership fee from their salary and unemployment allowance.

Please remember that paying the membership fee does not constitute membership on its own; instead, membership can only be granted to those applying for it with the relevant form. Application form can be filled out online.

What does the union offer for its members?

Collective agreements

The union takes part in negotiating national collective agreements, also in the case of vessels defined under specific contracts as well as vessels in Finnish ownership sailing under the flag of convenience. 
Under Finnish legislation, only a trade union may enter into a collective agreement. Pursuant to the Seamen’s Act, an employer that is not a member of any employers’ organisation must also adhere to the national collective agreement.
Confederations of trade unions draw collective bargaining agreements in the public sector. Through its member officials in public sector, the union has influence in the Confederation of Employees in Technical and Basic Service Professions (KTN) in the municipal sector and in Pardia in the governmental sector.
The representatives and contact persons appointed by different member groups supervise compliance with the collective agreements.

Unemployment allowance

The members of the Unemployment Fund Aaria are entitled to earnings-related daily allowance during unemployment periods.

The union's requirements for members

The members form the union. Active members are a prerequisite for an effective trade union. The more members participate in the union’s activities and defend their rights, the more credible the union. The union’s strength lies in a combination of action and a unified membership base.


The union demands absolute solidarity from its members. This means that all members must comply with the decisions made by the annual meeting, the board or the board’s executive committee. This is of utmost importance, particularly during strikes or other conflicts.
A member harming the union with his or her behaviour or actions in the union or outside of it may be expelled from the union.

Membership fees

The annual meeting determines the extent of the membership fee. Currently, the fee amounts to 1.4% of the member’s taxable income. The membership fee for full members includes unemployment benefit charges. The employer can deduct the fee from the member’s monthly salary. The members are obligated to verify that this occurs.

Members can be expelled from the union based on unpaid membership fees.

A full member can request exemption from membership fees due to studies, military service, civilian service or other acceptable reasons.

Support members pay an annual membership fee as determined by the annual meeting. Their membership fee does not include unemployment benefits.