Ensure workload control and a work-life balance!

Excessive workload is a universal challenge for teachers, trainers, academics, and other education personnel that must be addressed immediately. Instead of referring only to "teaching hours," the term "working hours" should be used to reduce the amount of unpaid overtime, particularly those in precarious employment.

We demand to recognise the vital role that teachers, trainers, academics, and other education personnel play in society and to put in place tangible support and improved working conditions. Governments and employers in education need to lift the pressure from education professionals that is caused by the lack of adequate support and preparation time, coupled with the need to perform non-teaching tasks outside normal working hours. The sudden shift to emergency remote teaching in the COVID19 pandemic caused significant changes in the working conditions of education professionals, resulting in increased workload and work-related stress. Research indicates that many teachers were not prepared for digital teaching, and that training on digital competences was only provided once the pandemic had set in.

Despite the increased workload many countries did not increase salaries in the education sector, and few recruited new education personnel to reduce teachers' workload. Nonetheless, the pandemic has provided a unique opportunity to reform and improve working conditions for teachers, trainers, academics, and other education personnel, which will ensure high-quality education for students. Concrete support and improved working conditions are needed to acknowledge the valuable contribution of education professionals, who are daily frontline workers.