ETUCE Research Study: Mapping the Labour Market Trends and Trade Union Policies for Young Teachers and Other Education Personnel


With the financial support of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES) and in cooperation with a research team from the Central European Labour Studies Institute (CELSI), ETUCE has produced a research study “Mapping the Labour Market Trends and Trade Union Policies for Young Teachers and Other Education Personnel” outlining the labour market trends for young teachers and other education personnel, as well as education trade union policies in relation to young members’ participation in trade union structures from the perspectives of both education trade unions and individual teachers across the European region.

More specifically the research study focuses on:

  • Mapping the existing structures of ETUCE member unions across Europe for engaging young teachers
  • Analysing young members’ engagement and activities within trade unions, including their position on the access to the labour market in the education sector
  • Analysing the ongoing activities of trade unions in the education sector on behalf of their young members
  • Uncovering factors enabling, preventing, or discouraging young people from joining or becoming active in trade unions in the education sector in 51 countries where ETUCE’s members are based


"The study reveals important aspects of the involvement of young teachers in the ETUCE member organisations. It helps us to understand what strategies the education trade unions may employ to engage young teachers in their activities, and represent their interests more effectively,” said Lucia Kováčová, CELSI researcher.

Responses from 55 ETUCE member organisations and 341 individual teachers across Europe as well as semi-structured interviews with some representatives from member organisations formed the basis of the study.

While assessing the engagement of young professionals in education trade unions, and ongoing union activities for young members, including recruitment strategies and the involvement of young members in the decision-making processes, Barbora Holubová, CELSI researcher, commented: "The ETUCE members are already very active in engaging young teachers. The survey, however, showed that there is always room for improvement and innovative approaches."

Focusing on the fact that out of 341, 271 individual teachers who took part in the survey declared not to be union members, the study revealed that […] “young teachers and other education personnel who are not yet unionised indicated different reason for not joining organised labour, slightly less than one third of them declared a lack of information about union services and activities as a main reason for not being a union member, while one fourth indicated that there is no relevant trade union present at their workplace. Around 20% of them stated that trade unions do not address the needs of young professionals or are linked to the government or a political party. Around 17% of the respondents did not join any union due to doubt regarding the union’s power to improve working conditions. Fifteen percent of the respondents stated that they do not have the personal capacities to be a member, while approx. 10% of them indicated that the unions do not address their needs, or they are not active in enrolment of new members […]”.

“What makes this report outstanding is the fact that it also considers the perspective of non-unionised teachers. Including their perspective makes it possible to find new strategies to approach this group and their needs more adequately. This will hopefully result in better working conditions for many teachers and the strengthening of trade unions”, stated Johanna Lehmann, Policy Officer at the FES project Future of Work.

The final part of the report covers policy recommendations from the CELSI research team to ETUCE member organisations to, among other things, facilitate the effectiveness of recruiting young teachers and successfully involving them in union structures.

“We thank the representatives from ETUCE member organisations and individual teachers for taking part in the surveys. We hope that this joint effort further supports our member organisations in such a fundamental trade union process as renewal. Indeed, this report can be a subject of an inspiration for our members to run similar surveys targeting individual teachers, including those who are not yet unionised, at national level”, concluded Susan Flocken, ETUCE European Director.

Read the research study