Statement from the Nordic unions
A career in the armed forces is developing as well as challenging for all who serve. Since the challenges in some respect influences the work/life balance, it is necessary to be honest and precise when recruiting new officers. That is stated by the presidents of the officers unions of all the Nordic countries.
The unions have been assembled for three days in Copenhagen. The representatives from Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark have updated each other on the situation in each country and discussed the challenges, especially on work/life balance, recruitment and retention. In some ways, the countries look alike, in some ways there are differences.
In all four countries, mobility is a challenge. Even though there are obvious differences in the distances, people are not voluntarily moving their household for a new position in the armed forces. That is why one of the most important issues for the unions to address is to demand full compensation for mobility.
It was stated, that it is mandatory to be honest and precise, when advertising for new officers. Except for Finland, recruitment seems to be difficult in all the Nordic countries. Hence it is essential to be honest and precise on all aspects of a career in the armed forces e.g. demands or expectations on mobility and conditions during the career. Furthermore it must be emphasized that the armed forces are highly influenced by the politicians which puts some restraints on the military commander.
The unions that attended the conference was Officersförbundet from Sweden, Befalets Fellesorganisasjon and Norges Officersforbund from Norway and Upseeriliitto and Päällystöliitto from Finland. Hosting the conference was Hovedorganisationen af Officerer from Denmark.
This year was the Alliances 50 anniversary.