The National Union of Teachers in Sweden

About us in English

Lärarnas Riksförbund (The National Union of Teachers in Sweden) is the only professional trade union in Sweden exclusively for qualified teachers and study and career counsellors.

Slumpen styr! – En undersökning om de praktisk-estetiska ämnenas förutsättningar i grundskolan

With our 90,000 members, we are one of the largest unions affiliated to the Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations (Sveriges Akademikers Central­organisation, Saco).

Lärarnas Riksförbund does not organize unqualified employees nor principals, which gives us a unique ability to focus on what is important to professional teachers and on their interests. The majority of our members work in compulsory schooling (years 1–9) and in upper secondary schools both in the public and private sector.

Organisation

The teachers at a school form a local branch. Every municipality has a municipal association, which belongs to one of our 29 districts. The district is responsible for the professional trade union training offered to the local union representatives and to safe and healthy reps. Those who are still studying to become teachers or study and career counsellors can join our student association at no charge.

The highest decision-making body of Lärarnas Riksförbund is the Council which convenes annually and lays down the general political framework for the union's activities. The Council consists of 145 delegates and elects the President and the two vice presidents as well as the National executive board consisting of 12 members. They are elected to a four-year term.

To support members and elected officers and representatives, Lärarnas Riksförbund has full-time employees and trade union officials. The majority of the staff works in the central office at Sveavägen 50 in Stockholm providing the services of experts on collective agreements, educational policy, the labour market and legal matters.

Main goals and areas of activity

  • Lärarnas Riksförbund works to protect and advance the interests of our members in issues regarding working conditions, wages and professional development. We have a clear vision of what our education system should look like and we are working for a more equal education system where all pupils and students irrespective of their background can achieve their full potential.
  • We negotiate collective agreements on behalf of all our members at national level. The union has a national Collective Agreement Delegation which consists of 35 delegates from different sectors providing support and expertise in matters of collective bargaining. Local union representatives work to ensure that agreements are upheld and agree on locally negotiable matters concerning salaries and other aspects of the teachers’ situation and working conditions.
  • An important part of our efforts to improve the working conditions of teachers is to support our members in various ways in their professional role. We have therefore special interest groups for different member categories which contribute to the development of our members' professional issues. We are also working to spread knowledge about the professional ethics of teachers, and we offer seminars and other professional training for our members and union reps.
  • Lärarnas Riksförbund influences actively educational policies and plays an important role in improving education. We have a close dialogue and cooperation with the government and other stakeholders and political decision-makers both at national and local level. We also participate in a number of different reference groups in which other key stakeholders are also represented. In this way, we are able to monitor our members’ interests and allow the teaching profession to influence issues that are central to the profession.

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