Promoting gender equality within teacher trade unions and in the teaching profession in Austerity (2013-2014)

The ETUCE Standing Committee for Equality is a consultative body to the ETUCE Committee. It seeks to move forward the priorities and recommendations on equal opportunities set out in the ETUCE Work Programme. It also puts forward recommendations about priority themes and working methods regarding equal opportunities in education, the teaching profession and teacher unions.

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What were the project's objectives?

Striving for quality education, the project aimed to implement and reinforce teacher trade union actions on gender equality in particular in times of austerity. It continued improving national teacher trade unions' understanding of gender equality issues and promoting teacher union action on ensuring gender equality within the unions' own structures and in the education profession especially in the economic crisis. This project therefore wished to continue the work that ETUCE and its member organisations had achieved in this field. It further supported the implementation of the ETUCE Action Plan on Gender Equality as well as the recommendations of the ETUCE Standing Committee for Equality through the ETUCE member organisations.

The specific objectives were:

  1. Aiming at quality education, continue to raise awareness amongst ETUCE member organisations on gender equality issues in teacher unions and in the teaching profession as well as on major EU priorities, policies and instruments in the field by establishing an online platform on equality issues (SharePoint group)
  2. Analyse the actual gender equality situation and the impact of the crisis thereon in the education sector and within national teacher unions' structures in the EU/EFTA and candidate countries.
  3. Support teacher trade unions in further implementing and monitoring the ETUC-UNICE/UEAPME-CEEP framework of actions on gender equality and the ETUC Charter of Gender Mainstreaming in trade unions in the education sector at national, regional and local levels.
  4. Assess the implementation of the ETUCE Action Plan on Gender and supporting the ETUCE member organisation in carrying out further actions on gender equality in the particular context of austerity

What was the project's methodology?

The project was planned and carried out by an advisory group. The advisory group members supported the activity with their expertise and knowledge and helped to develop the online survey. They actively contributed to the project seminar and to the project closing conference.

The project was accompanied by a project expert who assisted the advisory group in setting up the survey and carried out the analysis of the collected data. ETUCE selected Angelika Striedinger from the University of Vienna as the project expert via a call for tender.

​An online platform (SharePoint-group) for representatives from ETUCE member organisations who are responsible for gender equality issues served as an online network for dissemination of the project developments and results. It was regularly updated with relevant information on gender equality issues.

Which activities were planned?

​To fulfil the objectives within the project period, several activities have been planned during the one year project period. These activities included an online survey, a seminar and a final project conference. ETUCE developped a set of practical guidelines supporting the ETUCE member organisation in carrying out further actions on gender equality in teacher unions and the teaching profession in the particular context of austerity.

91911569Online Survey: 1 February - 8 March 2014

The online survey among the ETUCE member organisations aimed to analyse the actual impact of the crisis on gender equality in the education sector and within national teacher unions' structures. It helped to identify good practices of teacher union strategies and actions at national and regional level on the issue. Moreover, the survey has been carried out in connection with the annual 8th March survey of ETUC in order to provide ETUCE a more detailed overview of the education sector replies. It also helped preparing the discussion in the project seminar.

ETUCE Equality Project-2013 2014element51Seminar: 7 May 2014, Utrecht

Building on the results of the online survey, the 50 participants of the seminar had the opportunity to examine different national approaches (good practices) regarding the promotion of gender equality within teacher unions and in the teaching profession in times of austerity. Experts on gender equality in trade unions shared their knowledge with the audience. In addition, the participants were invited to discuss in smaller working groups the competences needed to tackle gender equality in the teaching profession in times of austerity and to provide suggestions for the practical guidelines on gender equality in teacher unions and the teaching profession in the context of austerity.

80620212Closing Conference: 25 - 26 September 2014, Sofia

The main project event was the two-day closing conference in Sofia (80 participants from national teacher unions). The participants were given the opportunity to discuss and validate the practical guidelines for the further implementation and reinforcement of teacher union actions on gender equality in times of austerity. Representatives from EFEE and other stakeholder groups were invited to this event and given the opportunity to qualify the analysis.

Who was part of the Advisory Group?

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Seven teacher unions worked together with ETUCE on this project. The project was advised by a group composed of:

  • Kounka Damianova, SEB – Bulgaria
  • Rossella Benedetti, UIL Scuola – Italy
  • Trudy Kerperien, AOb– The Netherlands
  • Hélène Hémet, UNSA – France
  • Dorota Obidniak, ZNP – Poland
  • Ann-Christin Hartmann, Lärarförbundet – Sweden
  • Maire Mulcahy, ASTI – Ireland

Which dissemination strategy was foreseen?

dissemThe reports from the project seminar and the final conference, including the practical guidelines have been disseminated with USB-keys (1000 copies) and on the websites of the project partners as well as via the new online platform on equality issues. The reports of the project seminar and the final conference have been translated from English into French. The guidelines and project report is available in English, French, German, Spanish and Russian. The project outcome has been disseminated to all ETUCE member organisations and individual teachers affiliated to the national unions via electronic means. Reports of the various activities have been distributed via the ETUCE and project partners' newsletters and are available for download on the ETUCE and the project partners' websites.

More on the Impact of the Crisis on Teachers here