Resolution on Partnership within Education
I. The formal and mutually binding relations established between unions and employers or between unions, employers and government may be characterised as partnerships in the labour market. With regard to teaching and education, as well as all other matters relating to teachers as salary earners, the representative teacher organisation is the trade union movement’s social partner. All democracies are based on strong and institutionalised social dialogue - and on the equally fundamental democratic principle that responsibilities lead to rights.
II. The principle of partnership is the key to a sustainable development of society. Only through a partnership in which all the parties involved have co-influence as well as co-responsibility, will it be possible to ensure stability and peace in the labour market which are the pre-requisites for sustainable development.
III. As teacher organisations, we are ready to accept co-responsibility, but only if the complementary right to influence is respected. This means involving, from the very beginning, teacher organisations in all processes leading up to new reforms or new legislation within the field of education. Dialogue too, is an essential pre-requisite for initiatives leading to improved quality in education.
The Second World Congress of Education International, meeting in Washington D.C., U.S.A., from 25 to 29 July 1998:
1. Convinced that peace and stability in the labour market are based on respect for the fundamental principles of partnership, co-influence and co-responsibility, including the principle that responsibilities lead to rights. This implies that teacher organisations must be involved in all matters influencing the salary and working conditions of the members of the individual organisation.
2. Calling attention to the UNESCO/ILO Recommendation Concerning the Status of Teachers and the ILO’s Conventions on trade union rights, we stress the importance of establishing binding partnerships between authorities and teacher organisations.
3. Concerned about the lack of influence of many teacher organisations on the working conditions of their members, we must strongly emphasise that involving teacher organisations in matters of teachers’ salaries and working conditions is a pre-requisite for implementing sustainable educational reforms.
4. Calling upon all social forces for co-operation and partnership within education, we urge governments, local authorities, employers and parents as well as pupils/students and teachers to jointly assume the responsibility for introducing the necessary reforms into the education systems.
5. Convinced that the pre-requisite for implementing sustainable educational reforms is for government and local authorities to involve, from the very beginning, the representative teacher organisation in all processes leading to new legislation within the field of education.
6. Noting the pronounced decentralisation within the educational sector in recent years, we emphasise the importance of establishing partnerships at all levels.
7. Convinced that national initiatives aiming at quality in education must be organised in dialogue with the social partners within the field of education. We stress the importance of dialogue as a pre-requisite for improving quality in education as well as a guarantee of the most appropriate use of resources.
8. Recommends that governmental development agencies involved in development projects within the education sector of Third World countries demand that the national teacher organisation of the individual developing country, in accordance with the common general objective of sustainability, be involved in the different phases of the development work, i.e. planning and implementation.
9. Recommends that EI, based on the principles of sustainability, social dimension and democratic rights, advocate to intergovernmental agencies, like UNESCO, UNICEF and the World Bank, the involvement of national teacher organisations, as stakeholders, in development educational projects.
10. The development of society in the new millennium requires massive educational efforts. The development of the knowledge-based society requires life-long education for all. Teachers are crucial to this development. The status of teachers must be raised, and governments, in co-operation with teacher organisations, must take the initiative to improve the conditions for teachers in order to implement the necessary reforms.