Resolution on quality terms and conditions of employment and the campaign for decent work

published 25 July 2015 updated 31 March 2017

The 7th Education International (EI) World Congress meeting in Ottawa, Canada, from 21nd to 26th July 2015:

1. Recognizing that providing quality education remains a challenge for national governments;

2. Regretting that Education for All (EFA) was not achieved, despite improvements in access, due to a lack of political will to challenge the impediments to the participation of some children and, especially girls, in education in some countries and the lack of political commitment generally to providing the necessary funding for training and employment of qualified teachers and the provision of the necessary infrastructure;

3. Denouncing the fact that the global preoccupation with measuring education outcomes is not supporting the provision of quality education and that it fails to take the context in which education occurs into account;

4. Expressing concern with the deterioration in salaries and conditions of employment for education personnel generally, particularly in comparison to professionals with comparable skill sets, and the impact of commercialisation and privatisation on the employment conditions of teachers, researchers and education support personnel;

5. Notes with concern the growing use and exploitation of contingent faculty, fixed-term, precarious and casualised teachers, researchers and education support personnel;

6. Notes that fixed-term and other precarious forms of work are becoming more widespread in other sectors of the economy and therefore recognises the potential for new allies in combatting the casualisation of the workforce;

7. Insisting that teaching be an attractive high-status career choice, and must be sufficiently attractive, in terms of salaries, professional autonomy, career advancement, healthcare and pension benefits, and conditions of employment, to encourage and retain high calibre entrants into the profession;

8. Reaffirms the importance of EI’s policy on the rights of fixed-term teaching personnel, including the 2007 World Congress resolution on fixed-term higher education teaching personnel.

9. Acknowledging that qualified teacher shortages are a fundamental problem to achieving quality education for all;

10. Reiterating the view that qualified teacher shortages cannot be addressed unless governments and the international community take decisive steps to facilitate access to the necessary qualifications to improve teachers’ status and terms and conditions of employment;

11. Instructs the Executive Board to:

a. Build members’ capacity to address personnel management issues, develop proposals and engage in social dialogue with governments and employers to improve the status of teachers and education support personnel;

b. Develop a policy brief on Employment in Education, through a consultative process with member organisations, for presentation to the next EI World Congress;

c. Create a digital open network for member organisations to discuss and share good practices and tools to which members can refer when engaging in negotiation with employers;

d. Monitor the use of fixed-term contracts as part of EI’s work on ‘Quality terms and conditions of employment’ and to highlight good practice by affiliates in reducing precarious employment through lobbying, campaigning, organising and collective bargaining;

e. Work with global union federations and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) in raising the profile of precarious employment as a key impediment to the campaign for decent work;

f. Consider co-ordinated campaigns and actions on World Teachers Day (5 October) and the World Day for Decent Work (October 7).