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Working in Sweden

What is SULF?

The Swedish Association of University Teachers and Researchers, SULF, is a trade union and professional association for university teachers, researchers and doctoral candidates. Our 22 000 members are our primary focus.

SULF is not politically affiliated, but that does not mean that we are apolitical. We are an organisation that dares to stand up and fight on political issues that impact our members and their interests, safeguarding the professional interests and working conditions of people working in higher education. We negotiate, inform, debate and influence the development of higher education and research. As an employee, you have the right to be a member of a trade union organisation. Employers are obliged to negotiate with us on matters concerning SULF members.

Why should you be a member of a trade union?

Members of SULF have full access to our expertise on conditions and issues specific to the higher education sector. Here are six reasons to become a member.

  • Union support when problems arise. If you are a member of the union and, for example, are fired without a valid reason, the union can help you to get your job back. If you are not a member of the union, you must take your employer to court at your own expense.
  • Insurance. Our collective insurances, our pension agreements, our supplementary unemployment insurance and our members-only insurance policies give members greater security, both at home and at work.
  • Better working conditions. Members are not alone and can receive help to improve poor conditions at work.
  • Influence in the workplace. In many matters, the employer must negotiate with the union before a decision can be made. As a member of the union, you can influence these decisions.
  • The whole family benefits. Many of our membership benefits, such as members’ insurances, also apply to members’ homes and families
  • Rights and benefits for all. Pensions, child benefits and the right to vote are just some of the rights and benefits that did not exist before the labour movement demanded them.

Read an interview with SULF member’s Paulina Rajkowska and David Rule and their views on why you should join a union.

Swedish labour market model and collective agreement

In Sweden, we have a unique way of regulating the setting of salaries and employment conditions. In the Swedish model, the employers organisations and the trade unions negotiate the rules and norms regarding salaries and employment conditions. The labour market is regulated by a combination of legislation, which provides the minimum level for working conditions, and collective agreements that supplement these minimums with additional and better conditions. Click here to find out more about how the Swedish labour market works.

University teachers, researchers, doctoral candidates and comparable staff at universities and research institutes. If you have questions concerning your possible membership, simply contact us at the SULF Membership Register. Send us an e-mail at or call 08-505 836 00. Join us.

SULF membership fee is SEK 275 per month, including income insurance. It is easiest to pay your fees by e-invoice or by direct debit. A charge of SEK 19 per invoice will be added for a paper invoice.

The fee for doctoral candidates is only 125 SEK per month. You get access to all membership benefits.

Fees to unemployment insurance funds are not included. In order to receive payments from the income insurance, you must be entitled to income-related unemployment benefits from the unemployment insurance fund. This means that you need to have been both a member of SULF and an unemployment insurance fund for at least 12 months in order to take advantage of the insurance. SULF therefore recommends that members also become members of  Akademikernas a-kassa.


Category Fee/month
Ordinary member SEK  275
Paid position as doctoral candidate SEK 125
Retired SEK 660 annually
Dual membership
SULF has dual membership agreements with18
other Saco associations.
Membership fees are set by specific agreements
between SULF and the relevant association.
For more information about dual membership,
please contact SULF’s membership service.
Applicable fees regarding dual membership (in Swedish).

Read more under “Reduced membership fees” if you can apply for reduction.


SULF respects the environment! If membership fees are paid electronically by all SULF members, this will make a difference to the environment and this is also in compliance with the union’s environmental policy. So, for the sake of the environment, please choose direct debit or e-invoice.

Additionally, if you choose direct debit or e-invoice, it will be easier for both you and the union. And you will avoid the paper invoice charge!

There are three ways to pay membership fees: direct debit (monthly) or e-invoice (monthly or yearly) or by having a paper invoice sent to you. For paper invoices, a fee of SEK 19 is charged per invoice.

  1. Direct debit means that SULF members give SULF the power of attorney to deduct membership fees monthly from their bank accounts. To sign up for a direct debit, please contact your internet bank. Select SULF as payee. If your bank requests a payment number or similar, enter your 10-digit personal registration number without hyphens. SULF fees are payable in arrears and deducted on the last banking day of each month. (The bankgiro number for autogiro payments is 772-5633. Please note that this is not the same bankgiro number as for paper invoices).
  2. E-invoice: If you are a customer of a bank that can receive e-invoices and have a payment service through your internet bank, you may pay your membership fees through an e-invoice. This is a simple and easy way to pay and means that the invoice is sent to your internet bank instead of sending it by regular mail. The electronic invoice contains the same information as a paper invoice. Most major banks in Sweden are affiliated. To obtain an e-invoice, log in to your internet bank and complete the registration.
  3. Paper invoice. You can choose to have a paper invoice posted to you for your membership fees for an entire year or one for each month. A charge pf SEK 19 is added per invoice sent.

For pensioner membership, pay monthly by direct debit or yearly via paper or e-invoice. Paper invoices mean an additional charge of SEK 19.

Payment from abroad (to bankgiro number 885-9225):
IBAN number: SE15 8000 0890 1191 4326 5990
Currency: SEK

Swedbank is SULF’s bank. State your personal registration and invoice number as payment reference. You are liable for any bank/transaction charges.

Membership fees at SEK 275  cover a number of benefits, including the SULF income insurance. Unemployment insurance is additional, sign up for it separately to Akademikernas a-kassa.

In order to receive payments from the income insurance, you must be entitled to income-related unemployment benefits from the unemployment insurance fund.

No, Akademikernas a-kassa, is an independent organisation and membership requires a separate application. In order to receive payments from the income insurance, you must be entitled to income-related unemployment benefits from the unemployment insurance fund. This means that you need to have been both a member of SULF and an unemployment insurance fund for at least 12 months in order to take advantage of the insurance. SULF therefore recommends that you become member of Akademikernas a-kassa as well.

The monthly fee for membership of Akademikernas a-kassa is currently SEK 130. For questions about unemployment insurance visit or contact them.

Contact – we will assist you. As soon as you get your personal identity number or coordination number, let us know.

The Swedish Association of University Teachers and Researchers (SULF) respects your privacy and your right to control your personal data. This Personal Data Policy describes the aim and purposes for which we collect information, the legal basis for our processing of it, the way in which individuals can gain control over their own information and how to contact us if you have any questions or concerns about our processing of your personal data. This Personal Data Policy applies, for example, when you use our site or seek membership of the Association. SULF is the organisation responsible for your personal data in accordance with these conditions and is responsible for processing it according to current legislation. It is important that you read and understand this Personal Data Policy before, for example, applying for membership in SULF.

Read more here.