The Association of Social Scientists
The Association of Social Scientists – Samfunnsviterne - is a professional association organising people with a higher degree in social sciences and the humanities.
The minimum level of higher education needed to qualify for membership is a Master’s degree. Students studying for a Bachelor's or Master’s degree also qualify for membership.
The Association of Social Scientists was founded in 1994 as an association for academics with a higher degree in social sciences. Academics with a higher degree in the humanities were included in Samfunnsviterne in November 2007, when the general assembly decided to invite this group of academics into the Association. This was a future-oriented decision that will contribute to forming the Association and its goals and activities in the years to come. Not only because it will contribute to the continuous growth of the Association, but also because it will provide a more varied composition of members, make recruitment of union officials easier, accommodate a varied and engaging political debate within the association and generally strengthen the Association.
Today, the Association of Social Scientists has about 9100 members. The number of members is increasing rapidly, reaching a growth of 6 per cent in 2011. This rapid growth in membership seems to have continued into 2011.
The secretariat in Oslo has fifteen employees and is situated in the city centre of Oslo.
Where are our members employed?
The majority of our members are employed in the public sector, such as governmental services, local and county municipalities etc. Other members are employed in different companies and organizations within the private sector and in hospital administration. The Association also includes some 500 student members.
The Association puts great focus on strengthening our members’ salary progression and on improving their working conditions. The Association works systematically towards strengthening the union officials’ competence and activity. Our union officials constitute the core of the Association. The success of the Association depends strongly upon their knowledge and ability to work locally towards the Association’s goals. Their involvement, hard work and achievement are decisive elements for the development and professionalism of the Association.
Our key objectives are to secure our members’ interests in four areas:
- Salary progression
- Working conditions
- Enforcing our members’ professional identity
- Improvement of knowledge and expertise.
The Association of Social Scientists has signed a Nordic agreement of cooperation. Members of similar associations for social scientists in the Nordic countries may receive help from The Association of Social Scientists when employed in Norway.
The Association conducts an annual salary survey among all members. In the 2011 survey, the response rate was 60 per cent. This survey gives us a good picture of the level of salaries for our members.
The average annual salary for all members of the Association was NOK 495 000 in 2011. The average annual salary for all male members in 2011 was NOK 522 000, whereas the average salary for all female members was NOK 481 000.
The difference between salaries in the private sector as opposed to the public sector is still considerable, as the following example shows:
Annual salary for our members in different tariff sectors (2011):
- Government: 474 000
- Municipalities: 478 000
- Municipality of Oslo: 478 000
- Private sector: 511 000
The results of our annual salary surveys are available to our members our members’ web (login required). These surveys stand out as one of our most popular membership benefits.
The Association offers courses for members of all tariff sectors. The programmes include courses about the role of union officers as well as courses on reorganisation processes, pensions, conflict management, labour legislation and management training.
Information and communication
The Association works continuously with developing the internal and external information routines. Members are informed of important measures through e-mail and through information published on our web site as well as on our members’ web and through social media.
Future challenges and areas of commitment
One of our most important areas of commitment in the future is recruiting more members among students in Norwegian universities and regional colleges. The Association has a strategic plan for recruiting and keeping student members. It is the Association's hope and ambition that the increase of new members which we have experienced over the last years will continue, giving the Association great possibilities in the future as the number one choice for academics with a degree in social sciences and the humanities. The Association puts great emphasis on identity and has started the process of outlining a strategy for the next years to come.