Teachers chart their own way toward defining decent work

It’s often said that two heads are better than one, but in the case of teachers an entire profession is on hand to determine what education employment policy of the future should look like.

For the first time since Education International (EI) was founded in 1993, teachers and union leaders are making a collective effort to define a common core of demands and proposals that will shape the teaching profession of the future. The anticipated outcome of these proposals and ideas will be reflected in a policy paper for the organisation’s 8th World Congress in 2019, and in the creation of a platform that will act as an information and advocacy hub for teachers worldwide.

More than 60 participants from over 40 countries are in Brussels this week to collaborate on issues surrounding quality terms of employment for teachers and educators. These challenges range from the professional development of teachers and deprofessionalisation, standardisation, well-being, contract types and salary scales, legal assistance for teacher unionists and collective bargaining rights. These proposals will be summed up in a document written by teachers for teachers in the practice of advocacy worldwide.

David Edwards, EI Deputy General Secretary, praised the initiative as a “tact change,” led by members of the EI Brussels team, saying that “this is one of the most important things EI can do in the runup to its next Congress”. Labelling it as “a first step on a longer journey”, he emphasised the importance of defending “our profession, building a global force able to put pressure on decision makers, doing what is best for our societies, and sharing what is working for teachers”.

The event is taking place from 13 to 14 March in the heart of Brussels.

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