In its meeting on 23-24 October, the ETUCE Committee adopted the ETUCE position on the European Commission’s initiative on School development and excellent teaching for a great start in life, demanding more concrete suggestions to Member States to better support teachers and the reinforcement of social dialogue.

For the first time, the Commission explicitly links attractiveness of the teaching profession to the pay, contractual status and career prospects of teachers. In this context, ETUCE also asks the Commission to make high quality early-childhood education (ECE) free of charge and accessible to all, and to support professionalisation of ECE teachers and other education personnel.

The European Commission seeks to set up a list of additional actions to improve the quality and inclusiveness of schools, support teachers and school leaders, and improve school governance. The Commission’s initiative also puts special emphasis on further investment in education, improving equality and social inclusion in schools, and cooperative school leadership and teaching.

However, ETUCE notes with concern that the role of the social dialogue in designing and implementing school reforms is missing in the Commission’s proposal. ETUCE asks for the reinforcement of collective bargaining as the prerequisite to guarantee decent salaries and decent working conditions for an attractive and rewarding teaching profession. ETUCE also recommends the European Commission to put more importance on the understanding and ownership of universal values such as tolerance, freedom and non-discrimination within the context of pluralistic and multicultural societies in Europe.

Read the position

EC Initiative School development and excellent teaching for a great start in life