The 16th Meeting of the Francophone Education Unions Committee (Comité Syndicale Francophone de l’Éducation et de la Formation)was held in Paris from 24 to 26 September, bringing together over 60 trade unionists from the French-speaking world. Created in Quebec in 1987, the CSFEF is an international network of francophone education unions fostering cooperation and solidarity. It is part of Education International and is a partner of the Education and Solidarity Network with regard to issues relating to the health and well-being of educational communities.
At the 15th Meeting of the CSFEF in Antananarivo, the issue of teachers’ health and its recognition by unions and governments was raised and discussed in detail by the unions present. As a consequence, the CSFEF entered into a collaboration with the Education and Solidarity Network to design and draw up a questionnaire on the occupational health of education workers. More than thirty CSFEF members were questioned over the summer of 2018 with the aim of drawing up a review of working conditions, access to healthcare, health-related rights and the role of the unions.
The results of this survey were presented at the Paris Meeting by Matthias Savignac, ESN president, who reaffirmed his organisation’s commitment, alongside the CSFEF, to work towards the health and wellbeing of educationworkers. The final version of the report will soon be available for downloading.
A presentation on the Mutuelle Générale de l’Education Nationale (Mutual Benefit Society of French Teachers – MGEN) was then given by Eric Chenut, delegated vice-chairman responsible for Partnerships and Health Strategy. MGEN is a major player in the social welfare of educationworkers in France and has been providing healthcare coverage to the employees of the ministries of National Education, Higher Education and Research and Culture for the last 70 years.
Séma Blégné of the SNEA-B (African Teachers’ Union in Burkina Faso) reported on the progress of the project to create a healthcare mutual benefit society for education-sector workers in Burkina Faso who do not currently have any form of cover against the risks associated with illness.
A participative workshop on “Occupational health and working conditions” has made it possible to bring out recommendations such as the creation of a platform designed as an advocacy tool for health issues and the compiling of a support guide aimed at teachers. In its action plan for 2018-2020, the CSFEF has reaffirmed its desire to continue reflecting and advocating on the subject of health with the ESN.