Education Support Personnel
Education Support Personnel cover a wide range of professional, administrative, technical, and general staff working within the education sector such as teaching assistants, school nurses and psychologists, bursars, and bus drivers, among others. The extent to which they are organized by unions varies between countries. EI believes that Education support personnel are vital in their contribution to a quality education, as well as to a safe and positive learning environment.
The work of EI with regard to Education Support Personnel is guided by the Education Policy Paper, adopted by the 6th EI World Congress in 2011, in addition to the resolutions of past Congresses. Relevant resolutions include the Resolution on Stable Education Jobs, Resolution on Collective Bargaining, Resolution on Trade Union Rights and Resolution on Fixed-Term Higher Education Teaching Personnel.
While education support personnel share many of the challenges and issues of teachers and academic staff, they also face distinct problems such as a general lack of respect and recognition for their work. These problems were recognized in the Resolution on Education Support Employees, adopted by the 6th EI World Congress in 2011.
Without education support personnel, the administration of quality education is possible. Because of this, they must be recognized for their work in the education community and enjoy the same status, rights, and conditions as other education personnel with similar academic and technical qualifications and experience. This includes fair and equitable payment and benefits in addition to the right to organize and bargain collectively. EI is particularly concerned with the ever-increasing number of education support personnel who are employed on a casual, part-time or limited-term basis without continuing security of employment.
Education support personnel must be guaranteed the right to a safe and healthy work environment, professional support and guidance as well as possibilities for career development. As education professionals, they should be able to contribute to and participate in the decision-making of their educational institutions, particularly on issues directly impacting their jobs.
Education support personnel are often vulnerable to out-sourcing and privatization. This not only affects their working conditions but also the quality of education and services provided.
Following the adoption of the Resolution on Education Support Employees by the 6th World Congress in 2011, EI has established a task force to continue its work on this issue. Its aim is to advise EI on the issue of education support personnel, specifically with regards to their status, rights, and conditions of service.
EI is particularly concerned about the increased exploitation of education support personnel, the absence of decent work conditions, and the violation of fundamental human and labour rights, such as the right to organize and bargain collectively. This is in part due to the increasing trend of out-sourcing or privatizing school-support services.