Resolution on Recruitment and Organising

published 25 July 2011 updated 31 March 2017

The 6th Education International (EI) World Congress meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, from 22nd to 26th July 2011:

Considering that

  1. EI was founded on the fundamental principle that organised teachers and education employees could improve the status and the welfare of teachers and education employees;

  1. Millions of educators, contract teachers and support staff have yet to achieve the benefits of union representation and collective bargaining;

  1. The rapidly changing nature of school management models has allowed private education providers, to which Education International is fundamentally opposed, to play an increasingly significant role in the privatization of public schools and create new challenges to organizing;

  1. The fragmentation of the trade union movement at national level, whether it occurs because of internal conflicts or external political or religious interference, severely inhibits the effective promotion and protection of educators' collective interests;

  1. EI has been a strong voice for the fundamental rights and dignity of each and every individual and history demonstrates that independent and inclusive unions and the right to bargain collectively are essential to perpetuating those values in democratic society.

Recommends that

  1. EI reinvigorate a culture of organizing that will encompass every region and affiliate in a coordinated effort to increase membership for a stronger voice and extend to more education employees the benefits of unionism;

  2. EI include training on strengthening trade unions into its development programmes.

Recommends that member organisations

  1. Engage in a vigorous campaign of trade union organising in concert with EI’s coordinated effort to increase membership and extend the benefits of unionism to all teachers and education personnel, including contract employees, substitute teachers, community teachers, non teaching staff, higher education contingent faculty andstaff, student teachers and retired personnel;

  1. Make special efforts to target their recruitment efforts towards a wide spectrum of education personnel including young workers, women, rural educators and representatives of minority and migrant groups.

The Executive Board to

  1. Encourage all member organisations to engage in strategic and targeted organising campaigns that involve leaders and members in activities that grow and strengthen inclusive unions;

  1. Develop a campaign for member use, including a range of materials to help recruitment efforts in the form of online, written and audiovisual material;

  1. Systematically include recruitment and organizing objectives and indicators in all EI union development training programmes aimed at encouraging non-members to become members, members to become activists and activists to become leaders;

  1. Advocate for the inclusion in teacher education programmes, of information and courses about labour and trade union rights;

  1. Campaign for union rights for categories of education personnel currently excluded from employment rights, social benefits and fundamental trade union rights:

  • By running an EI public campaign addressing the systemic barriers imposed by governments restricting the trade union rights of teachers and education workers;

  • By conducting and releasing a global survey on union rightsand densityin the education sector as a contribution to the ILO Global Report on Freedom of Association (C87 and C98) in 2012;

  • By collaborating with other Global Union Federations and ITUC in a Unionisation Campaign.

  1. Support members’ organising strategies:

  • By establishing a network of union organisers;

  • By identifying, collecting and publicizing strategies and best practices within national organisations and other public services unions;

  • By encouraging cooperation between member organisations at national and international levels, within and amongst regions;

  • By researching and promoting innovative organising strategies, including the use of social media;

  • By focusing concerted research attention on assessing the new challenges presented by the private education operators in order to identify best practices for organising in this new management context;

  • By publishing results of all aforementioned research within two years

  • By ensuring the effective and unrestricted exercise of trade union rights, including the right to strike, by the workers” (Resolution adopted by the ILO conference, Geneva 1957).

  1. To continue to systematically encourage education unions to advocate and work together towards unity at national level in accordance with each party’s demands and Article 2 of ILO Convention 87 which states that ‘Workers, without distinction whatsoever, shall have the right to establish and, subject only to the rules of the organisation concerned, to join organisations of their own choosing without previous authorisation.’ and in accordance with Article 3 of ILO Convention 87, which states that ‘The public authorities shall refrain from any interference which would restrict this right or impede the lawful exercise thereof’.