Our Activities


The European Federation of Education Employers (EFEE) was created in February 2009. EFEE currently represents 24 employers' organisations from 16 EU/EFTA countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden and the United Kingdom   .

The European Trade-Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) is the representative organisation of teachers, trainers and lecturers at European Union level. It represents 115 organisations and 5.5 million individuals from the EU/EFTA countries.

Together, EFEE and ETUC form the Committee on European Social Dialogue in education. This Social Dialogue focuses on labour issues in the education sector. EFEE and ETUCE have developed a joint work programme that aims to maximise input into the European Social Dialogue process. This work programme focuses on the key elements outlined below.

For further information on the European Commission’s Social Dialogue policy, please  click here.


On the 11th of June 2010, EFEE and the ETUCE launched the European Sectoral Social Dialogue in Education (ESSDE).

European Union legislation (Articles 154-155 TF-EU) allows for social partners to create their own Sectoral Social Dialogue at EU level. The Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Education is a permanent forum for unions and employers in education to discuss sectoral issues, exchange information and share good practices. The Committee will also deliver joint declarations and statements as well as common tools strengthening a European approach to education.

The ESSDE covers the entire education sector: pre-primary, primary, secondary, VET, Higher Education and Research. Furthermore, the ESSDE is structured along three working groups and different projects.


Working Group 1: Quality in Education
Led by Maria Pontieri (Italy) and comprises members from Cyprus, Malta, Latvia, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden (SALAR).

The working group was established at the ESSDE’s meeting on 11 June 2010. The agreed terms of reference of the group are to report on the subject of the culture of evaluation in education.
The working group considers the conditions for creating an evaluation culture at school level that could promote school development and quality, involving the evaluation of individual teachers, the co-responsibility of students for a positive learning environment and whole-school evaluation.

The wide variation between countries makes it highly unlikely that a single model of “best” practice could be identified and recommended for all European countries. The working group focus instead on the characteristics of a process which aims at developing a model that is suitable for the circumstances under consideration. Those circumstances could be a national context or a regional/local/institutional context.

Evaluation Project

Self evaluation of schools & teachers as instruments for identifying future professional needs (2012/2013)

With this project, the European Social Partners in Education would like to continue the discussion of Working Group 1 on the culture of evaluation and to study more in depth the (self) evaluation systems of three member countries: Cyprus, the Netherlands and Sweden. The study includes a short literature review on self -evaluation and peer learning visits to the three countries. The objectives of the project are amongst others to explore the links between evaluating schools and teachers and their professional development; and to update current knowledge on (self) evaluation of social partners in the education sector and thereby contribute to the modernisation of the labour market.

Project outline Executive Summary: German Executive Summary: French Final Report Joint Declaration EN Joint Declaration FR Joint Declaration ES
Joint Declaration DE Joint Declaration HR Joint Declaration EL Joint Declaration IT Joint Declaration PT

Working Group 2: Demographic Challenges

Led by Camilla Vendelboe Hagensen (Denmark) and comprises members from Belgium, Finland (KT), Hungary, Ireland (IVEA), Malta, the Netherlands (MBO-Raad), Norway and the UK (LGE, LGA).

Working Group 2 on demographic challenges was established 11 June 2010 by the ESSDE plenary. The agreed terms of reference of the group are to report on the subject of recruitment and retention of teachers. The main question to answer is: How to attract more qualified teachers, male and female, in the education sector and prevent teachers to drop out of the sector?

The WG members report of a lack of teachers in certain subjects such as Mathematic; IT; Natural Science and Technical Science. A number of countries are also experiencing an overall shortage of teachers. These trends are likely to intensify in the years to come as large cohorts of teachers are retiring. The WG members have identified a number of factors keeping students from entering the teaching profession, amongst others: the low status of the teacher profession and difficulties in the transition from teachers’ education to employment. Furthermore the WG members have identified a number of reasons for teachers leaving the profession, amongst others: lack of career opportunities; low salaries; and bad working conditions. In addressing the challenges regarding the recruitment and retention of teachers it is important that these factors are taken into considerations.

It is the WG members’ common view that more in depth work is needed regarding the scope of the challenges and the possible tools for tackling them.

R&R Project

Recruitment and retention in the Education Sector, a matter of Social Dialogue (2011/2012)

This project takes as a first background consideration the need for the education systems in Europe to address the shortage of workforce in the education sector, to broader the access to education at all levels and to raise the overall quality of education, all these elements being key for the EU member states to meet the EU 2020 Strategy goals. The second background consideration of this proposal is that recruitment and retention in the education sector is a matter for the social partners to deal with both nationally and within the ESSDE. The project intends to examine the current situation regarding the recruitment and retention in the education sector and the existing national policies in the field; to develop a joint sectoral approach of the current challenges and to support the related work undertaken within the ESSDE as well as to develop synergies with other public sectors active in the European Social Dialogue.

Project outline. Joint recommendations ENG Joint recomendation FRA Project report

Working Group 3: Higher Education and Research
Led by Helen Fairful (UK) and comprises members from Cyprus, Finland (AFIEE), Germany, Ireland (IOTI), Italy (CRUI), Norway, and Sweden (Arbetsgivarverket).
The Higher Education & Research (HE&R) Group was set up by the Plenary Committee of the ESSDE on 11 June 2010. The HE&R working group operates in a challenging economic and financial context. In its Europe 2020 Strategy, the EU’s Growth Strategy for the coming years, the European Commission (EC) underlines -once again- the importance of higher education, research and innovation in delivering its contribution to overcome the financial and economic downturn, to face unemployment and to modernise the European labour market.

The most valuable resources in HE&R are the personnel employed at the institutions of HE&R. To deliver top quality education and research, the HE&R institutions need to be able to recruit and nurture the best qualified individuals. This can be achieved by HE&R institutions establishing attractive career opportunities both for those entering and for those already employed in HE&R. Hence the Working Group proposes to focus on the question: What makes up an attractive career in Higher Education & Research? The topics of Gender Equality and Early Career Researchers are at the core of the question.

Report 2012

Higher Education And Research Project

Supporting early career researchers in Higher Education in Europe (2014)

The Working Group Higher Education and Research (HE&R) of the European Sectoral Social Dialogue in Education focused in 2012 on three areas: gender equality; the environment for early career researchers; and the mobility of academic staff within Europe. National social partners of both employers and trade unions had selected these subjects during previous working group sessions in 2011. In 2012, these members of the Working Group shared national, mainly institutional, examples of practice and policy on these topics.  In this research project we will focus on how we as European Social Partners in education could better support early career researchers in Higher Education. The project will be led by the Universities and Colleges Employers’ Association (UCEA) of the UK in close cooperation with EFEE and ETUCE. Furthermore EFEE members from Cyprus (Ministry of Education and Culture), Finland (Association of Finnish Independent Education Employers) and Sweden (Arbetsgivarverket) are also involved.

Project outline Joint Declaration Final Report Executive Summary ENG Executive Summary FR Executive Summary DT Case Study Report Cyprus

Case Study Report Finland Case Study Report Germany/Hamburg   Case Study Report Italy Case Study Report Romania Case Study Report UK



Next to the Working Groups we also dialogue with the teacher trade unions (ETUCE) in the context of our other projects:


The challenge of implementing Lifelong Learning Strategies (2009/2010)

For more than a decade education stakeholders in Europe have paid considerable attention to Lifelong Learning (LLL) in parallel with new initiatives from the European Commission and the Member States with the aim to improve lifelong learning in the European education systems and to develop explicit lifelong learning strategies. However, the 2008 Joint Council/Commission Report on the implementation of the Education & Training 2010 work programme concluded that the actual implementation of LLL remains a challenge. As a result, three major stakeholders in Education, ETUCE, EFEE and the Organising Bureau of European School Student Unions (OBESSU) initiated a project with the aim to create an overall coherent framework for the implementation of the diverse National Lifelong Learning Strategies (NLLLS) of the Member States.

Final Report Joint Guidelines
Leadership I.

Leadership and Governance in Schools as instruments for improving student results and preparing them for lifelong learning (2011)

EFEE chose this subject in the well-founded belief that leadership at school level is of critical importance to the improvement of student results and that there are increasing demands for school leaders and those who hold them to account to rise to new challenges in a rapidly changing environment. While not advocating a common approach to matters best left to national or sub-national level, EFEE wished from the start of the project to acquire a better understanding of the various different approaches and their relative strengths and weaknesses. The objectives of the EFEE project included providing a platform for the exchange of views and knowledge on leadership and governance, based on a comparative survey of EFEE member organisations. Another particularly important objective was to provide a springboard for future work in this area, including active participation in the work of the European Policy Network on School Leadership.

Project Results

Teachers' Work-Related Stress: assessing, comparing and evaluating the impact of psychosocial hazards on teachers at their workplace (2011)

In 2011 EFEE took part in the ETUCE project: Teachers\' work-related stress: European-wide Survey - Assessment, Comparison and Evaluation of the Impact of Psychosocial Hazards on Teachers at their Workplace in the EU. The goal of the project was to raise awareness on the European Autonomous Framework Agreement on Work-Relates Stress (WRS), signed by the European Social Partners in 2004, and its implementation in the education sector. In order to collect up-to-date statistics and information on teachers\' work-related stress a survey has been conducted among teachers in 500 primary and secondary schools and VET institutions across Europe, targeting 5 to 10 teachers per school. The overall survey results were presented at the Final Project Conference in Berlin, in November 2011.

Project results
3rd Party Violence Project I.

Promotion, awareness-raising and dissemination of the multi-sectoral guidelines to tackle third-party violence and harassment related to work (2010/2011)

On 16 July 2010, EPSU, UNI EUROPA, ETUCE, HOSPEEM, CEMR, EFEE, EUROCOMMERCE, COESS, representing the social partners of the commerce, private security, local governments, education and hospital sectors reached an agreement on multi-sectoral guidelines aimed to tackle third-party violence and harassment at work. The aim of the Guidelines is to ensure that that each workplace has a results-oriented policy which addresses the issue of third-party violence. The Guidelines set out the practical steps that can be taken by employers, workers and their representatives/trade unions to reduce, prevent and mitigate problems. The steps reflect the best practices developed in our sectors and they can be complemented by more specific and/or additional measures.

Multisectoral Guidelines Project Results
3rd Party
Project II.

How to Prevent and Mitigate Third-Party Violence and Harassment in Schools? (2012)

In 2012, a new project is launched by ETUCE on third party violence in schools: How to Prevent and Mitigate Third-Party Violence and Harassment in Schools? In contrast to the former project, which has a multi-sectoral approach, the new project focuses only on the education sector. The aim of this project is to raise awareness and to ensure that the multi-sectoral guidelines on third party violence are used amongst teachers and education employers. The project results will help to prepare the progress report of the European Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Education on the implementation of the guidelines in the education sector.

Project Outline Joint Implementation Guide Project Report

Matching Education with Labour Market Needs (2013)

The aim of this project is to focus on what kind of competences are necessary to make sure that people can adapt to the demands of public services providers in the future. This will be done by bringing from the start employers and participants from the education sector together. Skills and competences gaps is a crucial issue for the labour market. These gaps occur more frequently nowadays for several reasons: jobs are becoming more technical and the proportion of people with technical ability may not have increased as rapidly; there is a need to develop communication skills in different languages in a more globalised work; working methods are changing, etc. In this project CEEP and its sectoral member EFEE joined forces to achieve the best possible results.

Project Outline  Joint Policy Recommendations   Final Report

Leadership II Project

Professional autonomy, accountability and efficient leadership (2014)

The project will focus on the role of employers and teacher-unions in stimulating the effectiveness of school leaders in realising educational quality, by means of improved industrial relations and improved employment relations. In the study industrial relationships and employment relations are our starting points, but they are described from the angle of enhancing educational quality and performance. Basically governance structures in education can be described as hierarchies, with different authorities and responsibilities defined at various layers.
In a literature review key concepts like functional decentralisation, distributed leadership, types of accountability and self evaluation of schools will be discussed and clarified and the state of the art on effective school leadership and school evaluation will be summarised. Furthermore, three peer learning visits will be organised to the Netherlands, Malta and the UK. The project is led by the Secondary Education Council of the Netherlands (VO-Raad) in close cooperation with EFEE and ETUCE. Furthermore, the Ministry of Education and Employment of Malta, the Local Government Association (LGA) of the UK and the General Trade Union for Education (AOB) of the Netherlands are involved.

Project Outline Joint Declaration Final Report

Executive Summary French Executive Summary German

Healthy and Save Workplaces Project

Social Partners Promoting Decent Workplaces in the Education Sector for a Healthier Working Life (2015-2016)

This project joins the efforts of ETUCE and EFEE, the European social partners in education, with the aim to promote decent workplaces in the education sector for a healthier working life.

Addressing the overarching EU employment and social policy challenges, this project strives to contribute to the success of the EU’s health and safety strategic framework. Acknowledging the fact that work related stress (WRS) and psychosocial risks have negative effects on health and also impose a significant financial burden on individuals, organisations and societies, this project aims to promote social partners’ initiatives to promote healthy and safe workplaces in the education sector for a healthier working life as a prerequisite for quality education. The project seeks to identify concrete and practical ways to prevent and combat WRS in education with a focus on joint social partner initiatives and to develop concrete and practical guidelines on how to promote joint social partner initiatives at national, regional and local level to prevent and combat psychosocial hazards in education.

From EFEE’s side the Secretariat, the Association of Finnish Independent Education Employers (AFIEE) and Secretariat Général de l´Enseignement Catholique (SeGEC) participate in the project advisory group.

Project Work Programme Project Outcomes

Promoting Social Dialogue Project

European Sectoral Social Partners in Education promoting the potentials of their dialogue through knowledge transfer and training (2015-2016)

Via this project EFEE and ETUCE will further promote the European sectoral social dialogue in education as stated in our joint work program with the wider reaching objective to support the improvement of education quality in Europe. This project intends to support social partners with the need to improve their national structures and to help them integrating better at European level. The project aims to strengthen the linkages between the national and European level social dialogue in education. Finally, the project will contribute to closer networking between social partners at national and European level. In total eight round table meetings will be organised in different EU Member States. From EFEE’s side the Secretariat and President are involved in the project advisory group.

Project Work Programme