Education International’s Task Force on Education Support Personnel has geared up preparations for the upcoming first global Conference on Education Support Personnel and reiterated its commitment to enhancing these workers’ status and recognition.
“Education support personnel (ESP) will remain an EI priority,” stressed Education International (EI) Deputy General Secretary David Edwards, welcoming members of the EI Task Force on ESP, meeting in Brussels, Belgium, from 20-21 February.
“Pointing out that “there is nothing we do at EI that does not have an impact on ESP,” he insisted that EI would remain committed to supporting ESP and continue to raise awareness of the vital role of ESP for quality education.
Challenges for ESP and union strategies to ensure ESP voice is heard
Task force’s members then presented highlights and updates from national ESP campaigns.
Among key challenges for ESP, they mentioned; the increased use of contractual staff; public authorities not engaging in social dialogue; the job inssecurity; job restructuring, low salaries; ensuring pay equity for all ESP; and privatisation.
Some ESP unions are campaigning at country level with spartner unions to make sure ESP’s voice is heard and to improve ESP’s status and living and working conditions.
During this two-day meeting, the taskforce will also: plan for the upcoming, first ever international ESP conference, to be held in May 2018 in Brussels, Belgium; discuss the launch of an ESP Day on 16 May 2018, in conjunction with the ESP Conference; get a presentation of emerging findings and discuss ways to best use an ESP research study commissioned by EI; be informed about global policy developments relating to ESP ; and agree on a work strategy regarding ESP.