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Description

hscampAddressing the overarching EU employment and social policy challenges, the ETUCE project has strived to contribute to the success of the EU's health and safety strategy. The project overall objective has been to foster solidarity between the teacher unions in Europe in support of maintaining and promoting healthy and safe working conditions, in particular as regards the prevention of psychosocial hazards and reconciliation of work and family life in times of rising pressure due to the economic crisis. The aim has been to promote teachers' well-being and safety as prerequisites for quality education. The project sought to identify whether the economic crisis and the changes implied by it on teachers' working conditions had an impact on the health and safety of teachers and to develop a set of concrete and practical recommendations for teacher unions in Europe at national and regional level and the affiliated teachers at grassroot level, on how to promote healthy and safe working conditions in times of the economic crisis.

In the light of the EU-OSHA Campaign Work Together for Risk Prevention, this project therefore aimed to continue the work that ETUCE has achieved in the area of teachers' health and safety. It sought to support the further implementation of the ETUCE Action Plans and policy papers, the European Framework Agreements in this field and the Directive 89/391/EEC on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers at work. Moreover, the project anticipated and prepared the grounds in the education sector for the European Health and Safety strategy for the years 2013- 2020.

Advisory Group

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The project was lead by an Advisory Group which guided the project implementation and met at regular intervals. The Advisory Group is composed of representatives from six teacher unions (from left to right in the photo gallery):

-Anders Eklund, Lärarförbundet – Sweden
-Rosella Benedetti, UIL Scuola – Italy
-Patricio Perez, FECCOO – Spain
-Hélène Hémet, UNSA – France
-Darren Northcott, NASUWT – UK
-Monika Konczyk, Solidarnosc – Poland

Activities

Peer learning activities

ldn plaThe first Peer Learning Activity of the ETUCE project "Teacher trade unions in solidarity for healthy and safe workplaces in the economic crisis" took place in London on 13 May 2013. Together with experts on workers' health and safety, the results of the online survey and of the teacher union interviews from eight EU countries were presented and discussed. This presented the participants with the opportunity to exchange union strategies/good practices on health and safety and discuss their transferability to other national contexts. Furthermore, the participants were invited to provide suggestions for the practical recommendations for teacher unions in Europe on how to promote healthy and safe working conditions in education in times of crisis. The regional Peer Learning Activity gathered 30 teacher union representatives from North-Eastern European countries.

The second Peer Learning Activity of the ETUCE project "Teacher trade unions in solidarity for healthy and safe workplaces in the economic crisis" took place in Lisbon on 3 June 2013. Together with experts on workers' health and safety, the results of the online survey and of the teacher union interviews from eight EU countries were presented and discussed. This event gave the participants the opportunity to exchange union strategies/good practices and discuss their transferability to other national contexts. Furthermore, the participants were invited to provide suggestions for the practical recommendations for teacher unions in Europe on how to promote healthy and safe working conditions in education in times of crisis.

Conference

Plenary Discussion 2

At the closing conference of the ETUCE Project "Teacher Trade Unions in Solidarity for Healthy and Safe Workplaces in the Economic Crisis" in Madrid on 10-11 October 2013, more than 50 representatives from European teacher trade unions discussed policy recommendations on how to promote healthy and safe working conditions in Education in times of crisis.

In Madrid, experts on workers' health and safety shared their expertise with the audience. The participants had the opportunity to discuss, amend and comment the draft Policy Recommendations for teacher unions in Europe on how to promote healthy and safe working conditions in education in times of crisis. The recommendations were debated in the context of the project results, which derived from an on-line survey, interviews, and two peer learning activities conducted among teacher trade unions in 2013. The final draft of these recommendations will be presented for adoption to the ETUCE Committee.

The keynote speaker, Joan Benach, from the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona and from WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health chairing the Employment Conditions Knowledge Network (EMCONET), captured the participants' interest with a speech on the crisis, social inequalities and health and safety at workplaces. Among the speakers also featured Sarah Copsey from the European Agency for OSH on occupational health and safety at the workplace school and Stavroula Leka from Nottingham University on translating policy recommendations into practice.

In the final plenary debate, the participants emphasised the need to raise awareness on teachers' working conditions in times of economic crisis. Like all workers, teachers have the right to be safe and stay healthy in their job, therefore these issues need to be addressed by all stakeholders in Education.

The project's results show that many resources and support mechanisms have been withdrawn during the economic crisis. This is why the participants stressed that teachers must look at their working conditions in solidarity and cooperate in their actions. Healthy and safe workplaces are both a key to teachers' health and safety and a prerequisite for quality education.

The final recommendations will address teacher trade unions and other stakeholders in Education in Europe and will be taken to the European Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee in Education.

 

EU flagThis project has been carried out with the financial support of the European Commission