EI commits to world day for education support staff
Members of Education International (EI) have committed to creating a day to recognise the vital role of education support staff and employees at the recent World Congress meeting in Canada.
At the 7th EI World Congress, the Executive Board reaffirmed its commitment outlined in a resolution at the 6th EI World Congress to recognise and acknowledge the work of education support staff in the form of an annual EI International Education Support Personnel Day.
The adopted resolution comes as part of Section 2.1 of resolutions proposed by the Executive Board and member organisations: “Improvement of the welfare and status of teachers and other education employees through the effective application of their human and trade union rights and professional freedoms.”
IEUA-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said the commitment to formalising such a day will help ensure quality education is delivered to all and that education support staff are recognised for their important role in our school communities.
“EI Congress noted with great concern the exploitation, lack of recognition of, and respect for education support staff,” Mr Burke said.
“While they share many of the same issues as teachers, they also face distinct problems, hence the need for a separate day apart from World Teachers’ Day.
“Some of these issues include unacceptable working conditions and poor pay, casualisation, a lack of quality professional development as well as the devastating impacts of privatisation on their employment opportunities.
“This annual day will give visibility and recognition to all education support staff and their contribution to quality education.”
The Executive Board also mandated the need to “continue its work to ensure that the diversity of the sector is reflected in EI policies and practices, and that Education Support Personnel may see themselves, their needs and their priorities adequately reflected in the work of the organisation.”
EI will encourage and support affiliates who are implementing policies and strategies to advocate for education support staff and their inclusion in collective agreements and career development plans.
A proposed amendment to the resolution was included adding a sentence to ensure the necessary representations are made by the end of the next four-year period so that the annual day for education support staff is recognised by UNESCO and the UN, just like World Teachers’ Day.
The move follow's IEUA-QNT's recognition of education support staff with the introduction of School Officer Day in 2010.