The UJF Council, the union’s top decision-making body, decided at its constitutive meeting in Helsinki, 13 December, to reappoint Hanne Aho as union president. Her new term will run from 2019 to 2022. Aho was first elected to the post in 2014.
Before working full time for the union she was a graphic artist for the news magazine Suomen Kuvalehti. Aho was also chair of the Finnish Association of Magazine Editors, chief shop steward at Otavamedia, and a councilor (Social Democrat) for Sipoo municipality.
Aho said that the purpose of the UJF would continue to be for furthering the interests of its members.
“Our main job is to keep on with working conditions and try to improve them,” she said.
“Apart from good collective agreements, we must work for those in a weaker situation. It’s important that we improve the status of the self-employed and those doing temporary work. Finnish society should treat all employees similarly.”
The UJF president pointed out that improving the conditions for the media also directly helps those who work for it.
“In Finland, in the Nordic context, the operating environment of the media is poor. The cut in VAT on e-publications and support for MTV and STT news output is a good start. But Finland needs a comprehensive plan on how to support the media industry long term.”
The UJF Council also elected other officers and members of the UJF board.
Tapio Räihä will continue as chair of the UJF Council. Ilja Ojala was elected as first deputy chair, and Sini Silvan as second deputy chair.
Susanna Sjöstedt was elected first deputy chair of the UJF board, and Hanna-Kaisa Hämäläinen was elected second deputy chair.
UJF board members elected for the 2019 – 2022 term are (the Finnish acronyms of their member associations in brackets): Leena Kosonen (PSSY),Anna Sourander (EPSY), Liisa Yli-Ketola (P-KJY), Marko Laitala (HSJ), Mari Manninen (HSJ), Soila Saroniemi (HSJ), Anu Kähkönen (RTTL), Sari Korpela-Välisaari (RTTL), Kirsi Mattila (RTTL) ja Anne Kotipuro (PJY).