On 3 May 2018, European and Luxembourgish social partners came together to discuss how the social partners could contribute to make the teaching profession more attractive during the seventh round table meeting of the European sectoral social dialogue in education (ESSDE) Capacity building project III. ETUCE and EFEE were hosted by project partner and ETUCE member organisation SNE/CGFP. They were joined by the Luxembourgish Minister of Education, Childhood and Youth, Mr Claude Meisch, representatives of Fédération des Universitaires au Service de l’Etat (FEDUSE) and representatives of the Belgian social partners members of EFEE and ETUCE, namely from the Katholiek Onderwijs Vlaanderen and ACOD-Onderwijs.

The Luxembourgish social partners reflected together with ETUCE and EFEE on their national social dialogue with a focus on the attractiveness of the teaching profession, a topic included in the ESSDE Work Program 2018-2019. Trust between the partners, stability and continuity in reforms for teachers were deemed key features for a well-functioning social dialogue and for tackling the many challenges that the teaching profession is facing, including that of shortage and of low attractiveness for young students. Albeit financing education and teaching is necessary for a rewarding profession, the value and status of teachers requires a deeper engagement in and within society. Reflecting on the collective agreements signed in 2016 and 2018, covering several professional issues of teachers as regards recruitment and probation periods to tackle teachers’ shortage, both the employer and the union sides expressed satisfaction with the state of the current social dialogue in Luxembourg, and looked at further improvement, especially in the realm of the implementation of agreements.

The discussion was enriched by several presentations, including on the recent European Pillar of Social Rights, the relaunch of the European social dialogue and the ESSDE specifically. Peter Birch, Education policy analyst at Eurydice, presented the recent report by the agency Teaching careers in Europe, describing a wide array of training, recruitment, mobility and appraisal systems for teachers across Europe. This presentation allowed participants to broaden their views on what issues other countries are dealing with and made participants reflect on good examples from other countries. In this wake, the Belgian social partners presented their national social dialogue and bargaining system and shed light on the ways in which the Belgian education systems are trying to face teacher shortages and make the profession more attractive

Susan Flocken, ETUCE, European Director concluded the round table meeting by stating :”the interesting discussions today exemplify that international exchange can enrich national discussions and that experiences from other countries can be an inspiration for effective solutions when adapted to the national context.” On the state of the social dialogue in Luxembourg she continued: “it is good to see both employers and trade unions actively participate in a social dialogue based on trust and open channels of communication. This sets a good example in Europe.“