Resolution on fixed-term higher education teaching personnel
The Fifth World Congress of Education International meeting in Berlin, Germany from 22 to 26 July, 2007:
1. the importance of promoting and protecting the rights and freedoms of all higher education teaching personnel as defined in the 1997 UNESCO Recommendation Concerning the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel; 2. that excellence in higher education rests upon ironclad guarantees of academic freedom, which includes the right of higher education teaching personnel to engage in teaching, research and scholarship without interference; 3. that academic freedom is assured by the secure and continuing appointment of higher education teaching personnel through the provision of tenure or its functional equivalent; 4. that all higher education teaching personnel must have the unfettered right to organize and the right to full and free collective bargaining; 5. That all personnel with academic qualifications and the necessary experience should be guaranteed equal treatment and that employment of women and minority groups in higher education should be actively encouraged. 6. that all higher education teaching personnel must have the right and opportunity, without discrimination of any kind, to take part in the governing bodies and to criticize the functioning of higher education institutions; and, 7. that these rights and responsibilities are best exercised when all higher education teaching personnel, regardless of the status of their appointment, work together in common cause.
Notes with concern:
8. the growing use and exploitation of fixed-term higher education teaching personnel who are employed on a casual, part-time, and/or limited-term basis without continuing security of employment and without tenure or its functional equivalent; 9. the threats to the academic freedom of fixed-term higher education teaching personnel; 10. the absence of fair and equitable remuneration and benefits for many fixed-term higher education teaching personnel; 11. the disproportionate number of women and minorities who are employed on a fixedterm basis within higher education in many countries; and 12. violations of fundamental labour rights of many fixed-term higher education teaching personnel, including their right to organize and bargain collectively.
Calls on Education International to:
13. recognize the value of the service provided by qualified fixed-term higher education teaching personnel, but oppose the overuse and exploitation of fixed-term appointments by higher education institutions; 14. affirm that fixed-term and permanent higher education teaching personnel have a mutual interest in preserving and promoting academic freedom and collegial governance; 15. work with the appropriate international bodies, including UNESCO and the ILO, to promote the rights of fixed-term higher education teaching personnel, including their right to organize and bargain collectively and their right to freedom from any form of discrimination; 16. support other international and regional organizations working to improve the status of fixed-term higher education teaching personnel; 17. lobby for the development and enforcement of legislation and instruments to prevent the overuse and exploitation of fixed-term employees, such as the European Council Directive concerning the framework agreement on fixed-term work concluded by ETUC, UNICE, and CEEP; 18. encourage higher education affiliates to organize both permanent and fixed-term staff within in a single trade union wherever possible or associations working in common cause; and, 19. encourage higher education affiliates to ensure that fixed-term higher education teaching personnel have guaranteed fair and equitable representation at all levels of any association or union, including membership on executive committees, bargaining committees and standing committees.
Further calls on Education International to encourage affiliates to secure working conditions and terms of employment for fixed-term higher education teaching personnel which meet the following broad objectives:
20. compensation that is proportionately the same as the total compensation, including pension and other benefit programs, for a permanent position with the similar duties and requiring similar qualifications; 21. academic freedom rights on the same basis as permanently employed higher education teaching personnel; 22. full participation in academic governance; 23. appointments and assignments which explicitly recognize and provide opportunities to pursue the three facets of academic work: teaching, research and professional activity and service; 24. entitlement to adequate and appropriate social security protection, including, where applicable, coverage under employers' pension schemes; 25. other terms and conditions of employment equivalent to those of permanent higher education teaching personnel as regards holidays with pay, sick leave and maternity leave with the relevant pecuniary entitlements determined in proportion to hours of work or earnings; 26. access to research funds and professional development funds on the same basis as continuing staff; 27. all necessary equipment and resources to undertake assigned duties, including but not limited to proper office space, and access to a computer, the Internet, and a telephone; 28. hiring and advancement procedures which include the full and meaningful participation of academic peers; 29. seniority rights which provide entitlement to available work based on qualifications and length of service 30. fair and objective processes to provide fixed-term academic staff with the opportunity to secure permanent appointments once they have accrued an appropriate level of experience with a higher education institution; 31. adequate paid preparation time for courses which are assigned; and 32. full union and/or association representation at every step of any disciplinary, performance evaluation, or grievance process.