Happy World Teachers’ Day! ETUCE and EFEE launch new health & safety tool

Happy World Teachers’ Day! ETUCE and EFEE launch new health & safety tool


Colleagues, Since 1994, On the 5th of October we celebrate World’s Teachers’ Day for teachers everywhere. ETUCE is the Trade Union Federation and European Region of Education International representing 11 million education workers across Europe. On this day, we applaud the hard working individuals who dedicate their time to educate citizens of all ages everywhere, but also we reflect upon the challenges faced by the teaching profession and the education sector as a whole. This year World’s Teachers’ Day is focusing on Young Teachers, the Future of the Profession. The quality of education and the sustainability of the education sector depend on the constant recruitment of committed and bright individuals into a profession that is the cornerstone of progressive, democratic and inclusive societies. Young teachers are particularly vulnerable to the hazards linked to the teaching profession including psychosocial risks: stress, burnout, and harassment. We need to protect them as well as all other school staff. In fact, quality education can only be delivered in the healthiest, safest workplace possible. Without this, schools face a high degree of absenteeism, presenteeism, early retirement, and all this has an impact on both the school administration and the working environment within the school. At the same time, we want to make sure that we can attract the best teachers possible into the profession, and this is only possible with the assurance that working in a school is a safe and positive experience. At EFEE, we want to assist our members all across Europe in ensuring that our schools are both both healthy and safe, and comply with EU and national legislation. Occupational health and safety is a key feature of the joint work of ETUCE and EFEE, the European Social Partners in Education. This is why EFEE and ETUCE are working with our national member organisations to create effective and accessible strategies to assess risks in the workplace so they can be prevented. In cooperation with the European Agency for Safety and Health at work, we have carried out a two-year project on Health and Safety. Now, on World Teachers’ Day, we are pleased to launch our new Online Interactive Risk Assessment tool, OiRA, built especially for the education sector. Ensuring the Health and Safety of teachers and other education personnel is a key concern for school leaders. But how do we ensure that schools are as safe as possible? The first step is a solid risk assessment. Employers and workers’ representatives must cooperate to make workplaces safe and healthy, but we can only do that once we know what the risks truly are. These easy-to-use, online, free tools allow education institutions to do just that: take stock of the Health and Safety measures in school, verify their compliance with European legislation, and identify areas for improvement. The tools can generate an action plan schools can follow to improve their Health and Safety procedures and keep educational workers safe. With these tools currently available for early childhood and secondary education sectors, ETUCE and EFEE want to help education institutions across Europe assemble an exhaustive list of possible occupational risks in and outside of schools, and ensure better protection of their workers. With this in mind, EFEE wishes to all teachers a Happy World Teachers’ Day, recognising their hard work and commitment, and to thank them for their positive impact on students all around the world. Colleagues, Happy World Teachers’ Day! I am delighted to wish all a Happy World Teachers’ Day! Happy World Teachers’ Day!

Daniel Yohans

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