essde2017On 31 March 2017, the European Education Social Partners – ETUCE and the European Federation of Education Employers (EFEE) gathered in Brussels to conduct their annual Working Group meeting dedicated to Higher Education and Research, within the European Sectoral Social Dialogue in Education (ESSDE). The meeting focused on Gender Equality, Geographical and Employment Mobility and in Higher Education and Research. The role of the education social partners in addressing gender imbalances in the academic career and in contributing to supportive environments for mobile professors and researchers in higher education and research was discussed. The outcome of the discussions feeds in and contributes to the joint work of the European Sectoral Social Partners in Education. The European region of EI was represented by Paola Cammilli, ETUCE Coordinator.

On 8 November 2016, after nearly two years of extensive work on the project: “European Sectoral Social Partners in Education promoting the potentials of their dialogue through knowledge transfer and training. The ESSDE capacity building II” of the sectoral social partners in education, the European Sectoral Social Dialogue in Education (ESSDE) plenary adopted the Joint EFEE/ETUCE Statement on Promoting the potentials of the European Sectoral Social Dialogue in Education. This joint statement underpins the commitment of ETUCE and EFEE to further improve and promote the ESSDE. Next to this important joint statement targeting directly the need to enhance the knowledge and understanding, representativeness, autonomy, communication flow to further improve the national and European Sectoral Social Dialogue in Education, the plenary also adopted the Joint ETUCE/EFEE Declaration on Preventing and Combating Psychosocial Hazards in the Education Sector and the Joint Practical Guidelines on How to Promote Joint Social Partner Initiatives at European, National, Regional and Local Level to Prevent and Combat Psychosocial Hazards in Education. The joint declaration aims at promoting decent work places for a healthier working environment in the education sector. It tackles the consequences of stress and psychosocial hazards. The joint practical guidelines suggest actions on how to promote joint social partner initiatives at national, regional, and local level to prevent and combat psychosocial hazards in education.

During 2012-2013, the following projects, linked to the ESSDE, were carried out:

  • Recruitment and retention in the education sector, a matter of Social Dialogue (ETUCE-led)
  • Social partners in education concerned about violence in schools: How to prevent and mitigate third party violence and harassment in schools? (ETUCE-led)
  • Self-evaluation of schools and teachers as instruments for identifying future professional needs (EFEE-led) Final Report - Executive Summary FR - Executice Summary DE - Declaration FR - Declaration IT - Declaration DE - Declaration ES - Declaration EL - Declaration HR - Declaration PT
  • Teacher unions preventing early school leaving through the use of ICT in education (ETUCE-led)
  • The development of the teaching profession in times of the economic crisis as a key task for social partners in education. Finding joint strategies to tighten the links between education and the labour market (ETUCE-led)
  • European Policy Network on School Leadership (run by FORTH Research Institute in partnership with EFEE and ETUCE)

And in 2012-2013 the ESSDE agreed on five joint texts:

  • Joint Statement on Professional Qualifications Directive
  • Joint Recommendations on Recruitment and retention in the education sector, a matter of social dialogue
  • Implementation Guide for the Education Sector of the Multi-Sectoral Guidelines to Tackle Third-Party Violence and Harassment Related to Work
  • Joint report from the social partners in the education sector on the implementation of the multi-sectoral guidelines to tackle third party violence and harassment related to work
  • Joint Declaration on Self-evaluation of schools and teachers

In January 2011 at the second ESSDE plenary meeting the efforts put into establishing the ESSDE brought first results.

Firstly the European Social Partners in Education adopted the joint Declaration on "Investments in the Future – A joint declaration on education, training and research", which states that public and private spending on education is an investment in the future, and that EU Member States should refrain from cutbacks on education. The joint Declaration was a mile stone as it was the first to be adopted by the Social Partners in Education.

Secondly an agreement on Joint Guidelines on Lifelong Learning, through which the ETUCE and EFEE committed themselves to implement the guidelines over a period of two years, was also adopted. As mentioned in the EU 2020 Strategy Lifelong Learning plays a crucial role in answering the challenges Europe is currently facing in a rapidly changing and highly interconnected world. With the agreement on Joint Guidelines on Lifelong Learning by the Social Partners in Education a first and important step has been taken in answering these challenges.

At the second meeting of the ESSDE in January 2011 the European social partners in Education set up three working groups (WGs) on specific topics:

  • WG1: Quality in Education
  • WG2: The Demographic challenges
  • WG3: Higher Education and Research

During 2010-2011, the European social partners in Education worked together on three projects focusing on specific topics:

  • Trans-regional cooperation in lifelong learning among education stakeholders (ETUCE-led)
  • Leadership and Governance in Schools as instruments for improving student results and preparing them for lifelong learning (EFEE-led)
  • Teachers' work-related stress: European-wide Survey—Assessment, Comparison and Evaluation of the Impact of Psychosocial Factors on Teachers at their Workplace in the EU (ETUCE-led)
  • Promotion, awareness –raising and dissemination of the multi-sectoral guidelines to tackle third-party violence and harassment related to work

And in 2010-2011 the ESSDE agreed on two joint texts:

  • Joint Declaration on Investment in Education
  • Joint Guidelines on Trans-regional cooperation in Lifelong Learning among education stakeholders