As highlighted by the Green Deal, education and re-/up-skilling is crucial to transition to environmental sustainability. Teachers, academics, and other education personnel play a key role in initiating the much-needed social change through teaching by setting up progressive and informed role models and whole-institution approaches. In doing so, they require support and training to be prepared and able to initiate the change. Education trade unions have a crucial role in ensuring that teachers have a say in the process and are supported and motivated to introduce education for sustainable environmental development at all levels and aspects of education systems. Thus, while teaching on sustainable environmental development, teachers and education staff must be accompanied by adequate technical, financial and staff resources and receive sufficient professional support.
The European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) has therefore contracted PPMI to prepare education trade union affiliates to address environmental questions and climate emergency for sustainable development in education and training through the trade union mechanisms of social dialogue and collective bargaining. The project will map out and analyse the major issues and challenges relevant to the education sector concerning the environment, identify the critical elements of the role of education trade unions in addressing education and environment for social change and sustainable development as a social partner in education, prepare and support education trade unions in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals and principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights dealing with environmental topics, collect and share concrete measures, tools and practices of education trade unions on supporting and building the capacity and knowledge of their affiliates to address environmental issues, develop guidelines for and prepare trade unions at the European and national level to address education and environment for social change and the impact of climate emergency on education and raise awareness on the importance of education on environment and climate emergency for sustainable development among European and national policymakers, education authorities, education employers, parents and other stakeholders in education.
The study results and guidelines will inform the ETUCE partners and European education trade unions on how to support and train their affiliates and teachers to teach on and transform education systems for environmental sustainability.
The study is PPMI’s first project with ETUCE.