According to the 2019 European Education Monitor, (only) 18% of teachers think that society values their profession, while at the same time 77% of teachers would still choose to work as teachers.
This edition of the monitor is focused on teachers and was presented in its main findings to the members of CESI Trade council EDUC by Bartek Lessaer of the European Commission DG EAC, followed by the presentation of Eurydice Network most report on teachers’ and school heads’ salaries and allowances in Europe by Sonia Piedrafita-Tremosa. Both publications aroused a lively discussion and confirmed once again the good timing of CESI Manifesto for the Teaching profession, which was officially presented to EDUC members. Following the publication of the manifesto in five languages, with the support of the European Commission through a Union grant, CESI secretariat has been working and will continue to work on its dissemination at European level, promoting it towards the new European Parliament and Commission.
CESI Secretary General Klaus Heeger said: “We encourage all CESI members to widely spread and promote the Manifesto so that teachers’ rights are effectively put forward at all levels. As it can never be too much. Especially in times where teachers have to face a number of new challenges, including more stress, work overload and violence, which necessitates support at all stages of their career.”
Violence against teachers was namely high on the agenda of the trade council, also via the ongoing Europe Academy’s project on third-party violence in the public sector. While teachers were once highly respected professionals, valued, trusted and accepted as inspirational role models for young people, reported (or not reported) cases of violence against teachers are growing. Be it physical (in the worst cases), verbal (in most cases) and psychological (in a worryingly growing number of cases, also through cyberbullying and what is known as ‘cyberbaiting’).
As a trade union organisation representing numerous teacher trade unions from across Europe, support for the teaching profession has been a long-standing topic of concern of CESI. Now even more than ever through its Manifesto, which can be summarized into nine main key demands for teachers, including professional stability (#NoPrecariousWork), decent remuneration, basic minimum conditions for professional practice (including #NoViolenceAtWork), the provision of high quality initial and further training opportunities (including on digital skills) and the involvement of teachers in decision-making procedures.
Last but not least, some members’ project around vocational education and training were presented, thus highlighting the important role of vocational teachers in conveying crucial skills for the new world of work, and stressing once again the versatility of the (teaching) profession in the twenty-first century, high challenging time for teachers.