The 6th Education International (EI) World Congress, meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, from 22nd to 26th July 2011:
Recalls that Education International is the voice of the education sector worldwide, representing nearly 30 million teachers and education personnel from early childhood education to university;
Affirms the importance of promoting and protecting the rights and freedoms of all teaching and education employees;
Recognises that education support employees include, a broad range of different categories of personnel with different status;
Notes thatthisgrowing body of professional, administrative, technical and general staff supports the teaching and research function in cooperation with teachers and academic staff.
Affirms that Education Support employees:
- are vital for fulfilling properly the mission of education and they must be able to assert their rightful place in the education community and in the union debates on the global, national and institutional challenges all education sectors are facing;
- play a key role in the quality of student experiences and contribute to the quality of learning outcomes;
- share many of the challenges and collective bargaining issues of teachers and academic staff, but also face distinct problems including a lack of respect and recognition, and poor pay and working conditions;
- should be guaranteed equal treatment, and employment of minority groups should be actively encouraged;
- should enjoy the same status, rights and conditions as other education employees with similar academic and technical qualifications and experience.
- best contribute to the health education and safety of students when they are part of a single unified workforce that works directly for the education institutions
Notes with concern:
- the growing use and exploitation of education support employees who are employed on a casual, part-time and/or limited-term basis without continuing security of employment;
- the threat to the labour rights, professional rights and, where applicable, academic freedom of education support employees;
- the absence of fair and equitable remuneration and benefits for many education support employees and
- violations of fundamental human and labour rights of many education support employees, including their right to organize and bargain collectively.
- The increasing trend of privatising school-support services affecting the quality of education
Calls on governments and public authorities to:
- Recognize the key role education support employees play in the provision of quality education and to ensure that educational institutions are provided with quality support services;
- Guarantee the labor and professional rights of all education support employees and to improve their employment and working conditions and provide access to career paths.
Mandates the Executive Board to:
- Work with other GUF and the appropriate international bodies, especially the ILO to promote the conditions of work and the rights of education support employees, including their right to organize and bargain collectively;
- Develop appropriate ways and means to collect data and information and to identify good employment practices in relation to education support employees;
- Encourage member organisations to advocate for the improvement of education support employees salaries, working conditions and access to career paths;
- Promote the unionisation of education support employees and the elimination of the political, structural and legal barriers to unionisation where they exist.