AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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Education International To Focus on Teacher Migration

The executive board of Education International overwhelmingly approved an AFT proposal to launch a comprehensive campaign on teacher migration. Approved by the board Oct. 27 at its meeting in Brussels, Belgium, the campaign will include the development of an online network of migrant teachers, so they can share the experiences they've had with recruiters and employers in order to help other teachers make more informed choices.

"As more and more evidence pours in from around the world about the growth in this trend," the proposal says, "EI should research its impact and develop constructive strategies to defend the rights of migrant teachers and mitigate the potentially devastating impact to source countries of the loss of their best and brightest teachers."

During the discussion in Brussels, teachers union leaders from around the world shared familiar and troubling stories of teachers in their regions being mistreated, and said that EI should make advocacy on this issue a high priority.

In addition to creating the online network of migrant teachers, the proposal includes two other recommendations: (1) to develop a teacher migration task force that includes representatives from both migrant teachers' source countries as well as their destination countries; and (2) to conduct a forum on teacher migration at the next Education International World Congress to raise awareness about the issue and encourage affiliates to advocate and organize in support of migrant teachers. [Shannon McLeod Lederer, Dan Gursky]

October 29, 2010