Education International
Education International

Health and Safety Recommendation Adopted

published 6 May 2014 updated 9 May 2014

A set of health and safety recommendations was adopted by the ETUCE Committee on 14/15 April 2014. The recommendations indicate how teacher unions can work and act together in times of crisis to maintain and promote health and safe working conditions in the education sector.

The recommendations suggest a number of strategies and actions to be implemented at three different levels: European level, national level, and school level. At European level, the recommendations focus on actions of solidarity, political influence, and the exchange of good practices. They call upon teacher unions in Europe to work together to improve national legislation on occupational health and safety and to promote social dialogue. Moreover, they advocate that the union effect should be pointed out to the European Commission: workers’ health and safety improves if there is a strong worker representation in place.

Teacher unions in Europe are asked to make the link between quality education and healthy & safe schools visible. They should insist on the implementation of European directives, foster solidarity amongst colleagues, and include health and safety issues in collective bargaining. At school level, the recommendations suggest having a health and safety representative in each education institution,

The recommendations were developed in the ETUCE project Teacher trade unions in solidarity for healthy and safe workplaces in the economic crisis in 2013. In an online survey, evidence was collected that occupational health and safety has suffered because of budget cuts in education. The final conference clearly emphasised that health and safety issues are not only the individual’s responsibility but are most importantly part of the organisation of work. The practical recommendations and the project’s results can be found on the teachers’ health and safety website.