Norwegian Society of Engineers and Technologists

Article

January 23, 2022

NITO - The Norwegian Society of Engineers and Technologists is a Norwegian organization founded in 1936. It is Norway's largest professional organization for engineers and technologists, with over 96,000 members. NITO organizes engineers, bioengineers, and others with higher technological education, including civil engineers and civil architects. NITO is politically independent and is not affiliated with any main organization, but cooperates with the Academics in collective bargaining issues within the municipal and state sector. The organization is represented throughout the country with 20 departments and over 1900 jobs. Most of the active members are members of a corporate group consisting of all NITO members in a company / enterprise - which constitutes a legal entity. The organization has a number of professional groups, including NITO Leadership Forum, NITO Petroleum, NITO ICT, NITO Own Company, NITO Building and Construction, and the Department of Bioengineering (BFI). NITO is a part owner of Teknisk Ukeblad Media AS, which publishes Teknisk Ukeblad.

History

The Foundation

The Norwegian Association of Engineers and Technicians (NITO), was founded in Oslo on March 1, 1936. The 28 men who attended the founding meeting were representatives from the country's four technical schools. NITO was in reality a merger between two existing associations: Hortensteknikernes Forening and Norsk Teknisk Landsforbund, in which the schools in Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim were involved. The aim of the new organization was both to safeguard professional and educational interests and to secure the members' financial and social conditions. From the very beginning in 1936, there was a struggle with the Norwegian Engineers' Association (NIF, now Tekna) for the right to call themselves an engineer. NIF thought it held with the diploma from NTH, while NITO claimed that one had to have additional practice before one could call oneself an engineer. The dispute was only resolved after World War II, when those who graduated from NTH received a master's degree.

World War II and the post-war period

When Quisling in 1941 wanted to Nazify the association life in Norway, the main board of NITO decided to close down the business. This was done by the organization secretly asking members to unsubscribe. At the same time, chairman Arne G. Myhrvold traveled around to the local departments and informed about the development. The membership file had been hidden by the railwayman Myrvold under the tracks on Østbanen (today's central station), and it was dug up again for the first main board meeting on 18 May 1945. in the municipalities and in the private sector. There was a perception that engineers and technicians had too low a salary, and a prerequisite for doing something about it was to have the right to bargain. NITO's civil service group was the first to be granted the right to bargain by royal resolution on 13 June 1947. In the same year, NITO made a push to get a main agreement with the Norwegian Employers' Association (NAF). It succeeded in 1951, to protests from NIF, which feared that NITO through the agreement would get a stamp of approval as the engineering organization.

NITO and LO

The battle for the right to bargain was fiercest in the municipal sector. The municipalities eventually got technical agencies, which were staffed with engineers and technicians, and LO believed that this group could join the Association of Local Authorities (LO). The relationship with LO did not improve when NITO in 1957 went on strike in Skoger municipality in Vestfold and took out the operations manager in the municipal power plant. He disconnected the "power", which was quickly reconnected by a LO-organized fitter. NITO accused LO of strike-breaking, a case that provoked strong reactions from the labor leader Martin Tranmæl, in the LO leadership in general and accusations that «NITO was just a bridge team». In 1959, NITO finally got an agreement with the City and County Association, and gradually also a better relationship with LO.

Technical education and its development

The development of technical education has been a matter of the heart

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