Swedish Association of University Teachers, SULF, is the association for university teachers, researchers and doctoral candidates. SULF, is a member of the Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations (Saco), whose members are professionals with university or college education.
Swedish Association of University Teachers (SULF)
Sweden has three confederations of trade unions. The Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO) which is the largest, caters mainly for blue-collar workers. The Central organization of salaried employees (TCO) covers mainly white-collar workers. The third confederation is the Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations, Saco, whose members are professionals with university or college education.
All three confederations are made up of 26 separate unions. Within Saco, there are unions for teachers, engineers, doctors, dentists, lawyers etc. The Swedish Association of University Teachers (SULF) is one of them. SULF also has members from the Swedish national research councils. SULF, like Saco, has no political affiliations.
SULF has a total of 19 500 members divided into five sections:
professors (Sweden has only full professors)
senior researchers (formerly "docents", equivalent to associate professors) and senior lecturers (a PhD is required for these positions); senior researchers and senior lecturers have the same title and employment at a university or college.
junior university lecturer
SULF has local bodies at all the universities and major colleges. At some of these, SULF also employs a local ombudsman. Some of the SULF-members are also affiliated to another Saco-union on favourable financial terms. Thus a professor of medicine may be a member both of SULF and the Swedish Medical Association, while a senior lecturer at a technical faculty may be a member of SULF as well as the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers.
SULF pursues issues like
- Gender equality in higher education
- Increased resources for higher quality in undergraduate education, graduate education, and research
- Competitive salaries for university teachers in comparison with the rest of the labor market
- Employment security
- Academic freedom in the workplace
- The right to do research and pursue continuing education on the job
- Scope for improving one’s qualifications on the job with an eye to promotions
- Equal terms of employment for teachers promoted internally on their merits as for those appointed following competitive procedures
- Time for teachers without doctorals degrees to pursue doctorates on the job
- Full salaried fellowships for doctoral students upon admission to graduate programs
- Improved working conditions for doctoral students regarding supervision, workplace, and other resources
- Enhanced opportunities for international contacts and sojourns at foreign universities
- Follow-up and impact analysis of recent reforms in employment forms and graduate education
- More post-doctoral positions