Education International
Education International

ETUCE Conference on Solidarity for Healthy and Safe Workplaces in the Crisis

published 14 October 2013 updated 14 October 2013

At the closing conference of the ETUCE Project “Teacher Trade Unions in Solidarity for Healthy and Safe Workplaces in the Economic Crisis” in Madrid on 10-11 October 2013, more than 50 representatives from European teacher trade unions discussed policy recommendations on how to promote healthy and safe working conditions in Education in times of crisis.

The recommendations were debated in the context of the project results, which derived from an on-line survey, interviews, and two peer learning activities conducted among teacher trade unions in 2013. The final draft of these recommendations will be presented for adoption to the ETUCE Committee.

The keynote speaker, Joan Benach, from the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona and from WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health chairing the Employment Conditions Knowledge Network (EMCONET), captured the participants’ interest with a speech on the crisis, social inequalities and health and safety at workplaces. Among the speakers also featured Sarah Copsey from the European Agency for OSH on occupational health and safety at the workplace school and Stavroula Leka from Nottingham University on translating policy recommendations into practice.

In the final plenary debate, the participants emphasised the need to raise awareness on teachers’ working conditions in times of economic crisis. Like all workers, teachers have the right to be safe and stay healthy in their job, therefore these issues need to be addressed by all stakeholders in Education.

The project’s results show that many resources and support mechanisms have been withdrawn during the economic crisis. This is why the participants stressed that teachers must look at their working conditions in solidarity and cooperate in their actions. Healthy and safe workplaces are both a key to teachers’ health and safety and a prerequisite for quality education.

The conference was the final activity of an on-going ETUCE project which is carried out with financial support of the European Commission. The final recommendations will address teacher trade unions and other stakeholders in Education in Europe and will be taken to the European Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee in Education.

To learn more about this project and to follow up its results, visit www.edu-osh.eu.