Education Professionals

Core values

ETUCE represents teachers of all education sectors, such as teachers of the early childhood education schools/institutions, primary and secondary schools, vocational education and training schools, higher education and research institutes, adult learning institutes and beyond.

As the European trade union federation of teachers, researchers and educational staff, ETUCE promotes and defends the rights and status of the teaching profession by the following core values:

  • A highly valued teaching profession is prerequisite for providing high quality education.
  • Professional status for teachers and other education employees should be high. The teaching profession should be respected and valued by society and, especially, by governments. In this context, it is crucial that teachers' pay, pension schemes, conditions of service, job security and learning opportunities are equivalent to those in other professions requiring a similar level of qualifications and that these are sufficient to recruit high calibre candidates to the profession and encourage them to remain in the profession.
  • Teacher profession should be attractive in order to overcome enormous shortages of the profession;
  • EU initiatives on mobility and recognition of professional qualifications of teachers should respect the national competence to regulate standards of teaching.
  • Teachers should be allowed to work with professional autonomy and develop school curricula appropriate to their circumstances, within flexible national frameworks.
  • A supportive environment in schools and collegiality among teachers are significant elements in the provision of high quality education at school level.
  • All teachers should have access to integrated high quality initial education, high quality induction and continuous professional development throughout their careers.
  • Teachers should be encouraged to become involved in devising and carrying out educational research.
  • Teachers trade unions should be involved in European and national social dialogue on education and training issues.

These values are described in detail in our 10 Key Messages - What is needed to improve the Quality of Education in Europe? , which was adopted by our Member Organsiations in October, 2013 in the framework of Unite for Quality Education Campaign (2013-2014) and in our Resolution on the Teaching Profession, adopted by ETUCE member organisations in 2012.

ETUCE actions for educational staff

  • ETUCE projects on ICT use for innovative teaching methods motivated ETUCE guidelines on early school leaving and ICT
  • ETUCE promotes the policies of Education International (EI), the European Region of Education International (ETUCE) and national member organisations;
  • ETUCE advises  the Council of Europe and EU institutions on teachers;
  • ETUCE promotes, follows up and advocates teachers' needs in the education and training policies of the Council of Europe and EU institutions and keeps in touch with the relevant EU institutions and agencies on its implementation.
  • ETUCE develops and implements projects and programs designed to the interests of ETUCE member organisations.
  • ETUCE cooperates with other unions, organisations which follow  the same goals.

Representation in EU consultative structures

ETUCE represents its member organisations in EU consultative structures and at EU meetings, such as:

  • ETUCE has been represented in the Clusters (from 2003), then  Open Method of Coordination Working Groups (from 2010), and now in Technical Working Groups of the European Commission on education and training. At the present it is represented in and follows up 9  Technical Working Groups of the European Commission, which all deal with the role of teachers in education sectors or competence development of teachers:

- Vocational Education and Training
- Adult Learning
- School Policy – Early School leaving
- School Policy – Teacher education
- Modernisation of Higher Education
- Transversal Skills – entrepreneurship
- Transversal Skills – ICT
- Transversal Skills – languages
- Digital and Online Learning

  • ETUCE, via Education International, is a member of the Bologna Follow-Up Group of the Bologna Process.

ETUCE bodies for quality education

ETUCE responds to proposals, policies and decisions of the EU institutions affecting the members of education unions in Europe. To achieve this goal, ETUCE has numerous permanent and temporary bodies, working groups to discuss about the status of teachers in education sectors.

ETUCE permanent committees
  • Higher Education and Research Standing Committee represents 45 trade unions, which has higher education teachers (professors) and research membership. The Committee meets twice per year to discuss about recent higher education and research policy developments of the European Union, Bologna Process, Council of Europe, and of partner organsiations which can touch upon the teachers' work.
  • Equality Standing Committee representing 45 trade unions. The Committee meets twice per year to discuss about strategies to achieve equality in learning and teaching in all education sectors.
ETUCE temporary bodies
  • Education Advisory Panel is an advisory group of 15 trade unionist experts on each education sectors set up based on gender and geographical balance. They advise ETUCE on education and training policies. The Advisory Panel (2012-2016) represents experts of early childhood education, general education, VET, adult learning, school leadership, and higher education and about the status of the teachers' in these sectors.
Recent temporary working groups
  • Working Group of researcher trade unionists to discuss about Early Stage Researchers (2010-2014). Result of work: ETUCE policy paper on Early Stage Researchers /Doctoral candidates (to be adopted by ETUCE Special conference in November, 2014).
  • Working Group of trade unionists representing higher education teachers and researchers to discuss about Quality Assurance in Higher Education (2012-2014). Result of work: ETUCE Policy paper on Quality Assurance in Higher Education (to be adopted by ETUCE Special conference in November, 2014).
  • Working Group of researcher trade unionists to discuss about Organising Researchers  (2012-2013). Result of work: Recommendations on organising researchers (2013)
  • Working Group of trade union experts and teachers in Early Childhood Education (2010-2012). Result of work: ETUCE Policy Paper on Early Childhood Education (2012)
  • Working Group of trade union experts and teachers in Vocational Education and Training (2010-2012). Result of work: ETUCE Policy Paper on Vocational Education and Training in Europe (2012)
  • Working Group of school leaders and trade union experts on School Leadership (2010-2012).  Result of work: ETUCE Policy Paper on School Leadership (2012)

Social dialogue for quality education

ETUCE is a social partner for education workers in the EU Social Dialogue process.

  • The European Social Dialogue for Education meetings also deal with the issue of quality education. Under work programme for 2010-2013, ETUCE, EFEE and their member organisations discussed in three working groups on the following issues:
  1. Quality in Education LINK
  2. Demographic Challenges in education LINK
  3. Higher Education and Research LINK


  • The European Sectoral Social Partners in Education, ETUCE and EFEE, have been working in cooperation to attract the best candidates to the teaching profession since their joint social dialogue project and joint recommendations on this issue. Technical Report of EFEE – ETUCE Survey on Recruitment and Retention in the Education Sector, July 2012