Greece: Greek Government bypass social dialogue mechanisms and adopts regulation on live streaming delivery of lessons


ETUCE member organisations in Greece DOE and OLME, reported that on 8 May 2020, the Greek Parliament in midst of the COVID-19 crisis adopted through an amendment to another Bill a regulation on the obligatory live streaming delivery of lessons without prior warning and without any consultation nor dialogue with the education trade unions.

Synchronous distance learning, including its recording, raises important difficulties for teaching personnel, regarding employment and working conditions on the one hand, and professional issues on the other and, thus, involvement, and consultation of education trade unions is central to the elaboration of the synchronous distance learning measure as regards:

  • Protection of copyrighted content: The online dissemination of lessons entails the circulation, online, of content prepared by individual teaching professionals, for the sole benefit of their students, and raises the question of the ownership of this content, as well as its destination.
  • Personal data protection, and online privacy and safety: Synchronous distance learning implies that teaching staff are to share video records of their person, thus exposing themselves to potential online scrutiny. This in turn raises questions regarding the protection and prevention from online harassment and third-party violence with grave consequences for their online privacy, safety, and psycho-social well-being.
  • Professional agency: At all times, and in particular in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis and emergency teaching measures, teaching professionals must be allowed to determine the appropriate teaching methods and pedagogy, as they consider them best and appropriate to reach and support the students with a view to best respond to the students’ individual needs, and to ensure the best educational outcomes.

When addressing, Mrs Niki Kerameos, Minister of Education of the Hellenic Republic, ETUCE European Director stressed: “Understanding that the step was taken as an emergency measure to the exceptional circumstances and is limited to last until the end of the academic year 2019-2020, we urge you to comply with the art. 35 of the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 concerning the obligation to carry out a data protection impact assessment, and the ILO standards stating that a climate of trust, built through social dialogue and tripartism, will be essential in the effective implementation of measures to address the COVID-19 outbreak and its consequences”.