Increasing the attractiveness of the teacher profession and reducing existing gender pay gaps

External practice

Duration

Ongoing

Partnership

Partnership with the government

Reason it was developed

In principle, the pay of teachers is gender neutral, as it is based on the length of service, qualification levels and professional experience. However, in practice, the gender pay gap amongst the teachers is around 4% in favour of men. For these reasons, the SEB has been using the various instruments of social dialogue and the cooperation with the national government to adapt a range of measures to increase the attractiveness of the teacher profession also to men and close the gender pay gaps.

Activities

SEB has used the existing social dialogue instruments and other cooperation channels with the ministry to implement a range of activities: • SEB has lobbied the government to adopt a national strategy for teacher development to overcome gender inequalities. • SEB initiated the development of a career advancement system based on the clearly identified grades for different teachers. • SEB supported the introduction of the system of mentoring for young teachers which is shown to have a significant positive impact on attracting and retaining a more diverse teacher workforce. • SEB developed a strategy for the sustainable employment of teachers to avoid job cuts, to ensure the capacity building and motivation of teachers, and to provide an advance career training system for teachers, co-funded by the ESF. • SEB developed a strategy for teaching immigrant children. • SEB supported a legislative amendment in 2013 to the penal code (national criminal law) whereby the violence against teachers is to be heavily punished (by high fines/ imprisonment). • In Bulgaria, social dialogue takes place at several levels, including the national, local and school level. To support the capacity building of its members to actively participate in the social dialogue activities, SEB organised a series of trainings, seminars and conferences on the role of social dialogue in supporting the gender equality in the teaching profession and education system. • SEB has achieved with the support of the Ministry significant pay raises for teachers (20% in 2019, with the commitment to raise them by 20% in every year up to 2022). • SEB has achieved the development of the pension fund for teachers which enables teachers to retire three years before the regular retirement age.

Results

Overall, the various activities of SEB aimed to increase the attractiveness of the teaching profession in general and thus attract also more male young teachers and entrants into the profession. The social dialogue activities have been successful to improve the pay and working conditions of the teachers, and develop successful social partnerships at the national, local and school levels. The results in terms of attracting the young entrants into the teaching profession show positive dynamics. In 2018, there have been 5,000 more new entrants, both men and women, becoming teachers and thus showing the first signs of the impact of the range of SEB activities. A key success factor has been the strong political support to the SEB activities from the national ministry of education and its education minister. This demonstrates the importance of high-level political attention for the success of the social dialogue activities.

Funding

The funding for improving the pay and working conditions of teachers has come from the national budget. SEB has achieved with the support of the Ministry significant pay rises for teachers (20% in 2019, with the commitment to raise them by 20% in every year up to 2022).

Links

Bulgaria
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