Workers' Educational Association WEA Finland
Työväen Sivistysliitto TSL
Workers’ Educational Association WEA Finland is an educational institution based on the values of labor movement encouraging people to participate and influence the society. WEA cooperates closely with its member organizations and educates their active members. The most important member organizations are the trade unions belonging to the Central Organization of Finnish Trade Unions and its member organizations. Other members are the Social Democratic Party of Finland, The Central Association of Finnish Pensioners as well as social and cultural organizations.
During its hundred year operation WEA has educated several generations to active citizenship, influenced Finnish legislation on education and culture through promoting cultural equality, supported the founding of several educational and cultural institutions of the labor movement as well as created the base and expertise for many cultural events. Today WEA continues on its path of equality, justice and critical thinking emphasizing that opportunities for training and education belong to all people despite background and gender.
The main themes in training are organizing, work control, digital skills of adults, media literacy as wells as literacy on society and politics. Central values in WEA training are critical thinking, tolerance and cooperation. WEA also educates young people to be active citizens and organizes social campaigns and events. Cultural workshops are especially meant for young people and citizens with immigrant background.
WEA is a member organization of the IFWEA (International Federation of Workers’ Educational Associations) and is active in ABF Norden. The annual Nordenskolan (Northern school) is implemented in cooperation with the Co-operation Committee of the Nordic Social Democratic parties and trade union LOS (SAMAK) and Nordic Workers’ Educational Associations.
Since 1931, together with its Nordic sister organisations WEA has organized Geneva school for trade union activists in connection with ILO conference. Together with IFWEA, WEA also organizes annual global training for young trade union activists in South Africa. Swedish language immersion trainings in 2019 to 2020 are organized together with ABF Aaland.
WEA encourages wage earners to participate in European training and to create networks with European trade union colleagues. European Trade Union Institute ETUI is an independent research and training centre of the European Occupational Association, which annually organizes dozens of quality short term personal trade union trainings on current themes concerning trade unions in various parts of Europe. WEA helps trade union members to apply to these trainings.
WEA plans, administers and organizes working life projects, social campaigns and drives as well as cultural projects. WEA contributes to national, Nordic and European project cooperation with the networks and expertise of trade unions. At the planning stages of projects WEA brings together employees, employers, schools, research institutes as well as other necessary interest groups.
Secretary General, Education Director Katri Söder
Project Leader Mervi Ylitalo (working life projects)
Education Manager Kirsi Mäki (ETUI training)