Kickoff of multi-sectoral negotiation to step up protection against work-related violence and harassment


In a decisive move against work-related violence and harassment, ETUCE and social partners across seven sectors launched negotiations on March 19, 2024, to enhance the Multi-Sectoral Guidelines against Third-Party Violence and Harassment (TPVH). This initiative, spurred by rising violence against teachers and a call for stronger protections within education, signifies a crucial step toward ensuring safer, more respectful workplaces for all.

In a joint effort towards safer and more dignified working conditions, on 19 March 2024, ETUCE, together with sectoral social partners in seven sectors officially kicked off multi-sectoral social dialogue negotiations aimed at revising the Multi-Sectoral Guidelines to Tackle Third-Party Violence and Harassment (TPVH) Related to Work (2010). The initiative builds on the outcomes of a two-year social dialogue project (2021-2023) and the Madrid Action Plan (2022) underpinning the need for a more effective social dialogue tool to protect and counter third-party violence and harassment, including in the education sector. 

As episodes of violence and harassment against teachers spike in education institutions all across Europe, protecting the teaching profession from work-related violence and harassment emerges more than ever as an urgent priority for education trade unions. Evidence from the Education ESENER study (2022) shows that violence and harassment in education are higher than in other work sectors, leading to increasing symptoms of depression and anxiety, burnout, psychological distress and sleep disturbance among teachers.   

Eradicating violence and harassment in teaching and learning environments has also been a long-standing priority of the European Sectoral Social Dialogue in Education (ESSDE) Committee. Following the ESSDE's political commitment to step up social dialogue work against TPVH at the European level, revising the Multi-Sectoral Guidelines constitutes an important pillar of the ESSDE Work Programme (2024-2026)

To review the Multi-Sectoral Guidelines, six different negotiation rounds are set to run until June 2024, tackling the need to establish comprehensive protections that keep pace with the changing nature of work, its related risks, and evolving legislation. Throughout the negotiation process, sectoral social partners will delve into various policy areas for preventing and countering work-related violence and harassment. These include occupational safety and health (OSH) and risk assessment, digitalisation, gender-based violence and harassment, compensation for victims of TPVH and sanctions against the perpetrators. Besides, sectoral social partners will put specific effort into improving the effectiveness of the Guidelines and enhancing their implementation at a national level. 

As we embark on this important journey, ETUCE emphasises the importance of collaborative efforts and constructive dialogue towards creating safer, healthier, and more inclusive education environments.  


Madrid Action Plan  

Multi-Sectoral Guidelines to Tackle Third-Party Violence and Harassment (TPVH) Related to Work (2010)