Education and Science Workers' Union (Egitim Sen) made a statement about the Teaching Profession Law, which was presented to the commission in the Assembly. In the statement made at the Eğitim Sen Headquarters, there was a reaction to the drafting of the bill without the opinions and suggestions of the education workers. The draft bill was criticized for increasing competition and inequality with the status differentiation brought by ignoring all the problems in the teaching profession, and reducing the solutions to salary increases.
The statement made at the Education Sen Headquarters is as follows; “The political power and the Ministry of National Education are once again reading their own way, as they have done many times until today, and are trying to unilaterally regulate the working and living conditions of education workers with the professional law prepared at the desk. The Draft Law on Teaching Profession (ÖMKT) was prepared behind closed doors, without taking into account the rights and demands of teachers and their unions, who are the addressees of the law, and presented to the Parliament on the last day of 2021.
In terms of regulating the right to education of 18 million students and the working conditions of nearly one million teachers, such as the teaching profession, it is not possible to fit the Teaching Profession Law into a study with 13 articles in total, two of which are introductory articles and two are in effect. In addition, it is unacceptable to ignore the Recommendation on the Status of Teaching, which is a joint ILO-UNESCO document approved by Turkey while the draft law is being prepared. Trying to pass the bill as a draft of the Occupational Law, moreover, leaving the implementation of the economic provisions to one year later shows that the subject is approached as a promise of election. In its current form, the draft does not have the characteristics of the Teaching Profession Law.
The political power wants to reduce an important issue such as the teaching profession, which is one of the most important elements of the education system, to status differentiation and salary increase to a large extent through a few laws. This attitude clearly shows how the government looks at education and teachers, and how much the government values teachers.
THE DESIGN IS FAR FROM FACING THE DEMANDS OF THE TEACHING PROFESSION AND TEACHERS
Pursuant to the first paragraph of Article 128 of the Constitution: “The qualifications, appointments, duties and powers, rights and obligations, salaries and allowances and other personnel matters of civil servants and other public officials shall be regulated by law”. In the draft of the Teaching Profession Law, the commissions formed, especially the qualifications of the teachers, and the proposed education certificate programs carry many uncertainties and the determination of these is left to the Ministry of National Education. This means that the legislative power is transferred to the executive, which is unconstitutional.
The bill actually focused on three items. First; With Article 4, the Candidacy Removal Exam has been abolished. Latter; It divides the teaching profession into career steps as Teacher, Specialist and Head Teacher. Thus, it leads to the deterioration of working peace by producing inequality, hierarchy and sharp distinctions among teachers. Third; Changes are introduced in the education and training compensation, which will come into force one year later, with 1 additional indicators to be applied one year later for those who are in the 3600st degree.
While the practice of paid teachers should be terminated and contracted teachers should be recruited with all their rights, new career steps are imposed on teachers with this draft. The main expectation of all teachers is secure work and equal pay for equal work.
Expressions such as "not being punished for progressive advancement" in many parts of the bill will result in restricting the freedom of association and directing them to become members of unions close to the government. With the regulation, unlawful penalties due to union activities are made a reason for elimination, and those who do not seek their rights and obey the government unconditionally are given the right to take the exam. Teaching, by its very nature, is one of the professions that should use the freedom of expression the most. Security Investigation and Archive Research numbered 7315 in the Draft violates the most basic legal principles such as the personality of the crime and the presumption of innocence, as well as the investigation of relatives and relatives. The bill is also legitimized by underlining this law.
There is no regulation in the draft regarding teachers working in private schools. This situation continues to be the most important problem regarding the principle of equality in teacher employment and equal pay for equal work. The fact that private school teachers have not been evaluated within the scope of the draft Law on Teaching Profession is also a proof that these colleagues are seen as cheap labor within the market-oriented education approach.
If the bill becomes law, the relations between teachers and professional solidarity will deteriorate, and the differentiation of status and wages will bring new problems and distinctions in schools. Different statuses and titles emerging among teachers will lead to "class" divisions that become increasingly evident over time, and to the formation of rigid and hierarchical working relations. This situation will distract the education workers from their professional solidarity in producing solutions to the problems they face together.
It is not possible for the bill not to adversely affect teacher-parent relations. The prestige of the teaching profession and the teacher will be opened to polemic with the different evaluations of students and parents, and the teaching profession will be made more disreputable. It will be inevitable to experience problems between parents who want a specialist or head teacher to enter their child's class, and the school administration and teachers.
TEACHING PROFESSIONAL LAW SHOULD IMMEDIATELY WITHDRAW
If the political power is sincere in making a professional law, the only thing it needs to do is to make an arrangement in accordance with the "Recommendation Regarding the Status of Teachers", which is the most important internationally accepted document in terms of the teaching profession. Adopted as a joint document of ILO and UNESCO on October 5, 1966 and approved by Turkey, the recommendation is the most important and comprehensive step taken to date for the social status of teachers.
Despite Turkey's signature under this decision, which documents the importance of the role of teachers not only in the school but also in the society at an international level, addresses all the problems of teachers and regulates their situation in all details, almost no concrete steps have been taken so far.
While the “Teachers' Status Recommendation” aims to strengthen the position of teachers, to develop and protect their rights, it is also a collective agreement concluded at the international level. The document, which consists of 145 paragraphs, covers topics such as recruitment in the teaching profession, selection and formation for employment, preparation for the profession, professional problems of teachers at different levels, job security, teacher's rights and responsibilities, disciplinary affairs and professional independence. Basic wages, working hours and conditions, special permits, research permits, vacations, education-training assistants, class sizes, teacher exchange, special regulations for teachers working in remote areas and rural areas, regulations for teachers with family obligations, health, social It is a basic document that also includes topics such as security and retirement.
The political power should immediately withdraw the Draft Law on Teaching Profession, which it presented to the Parliament. If a professional law is to be prepared, the "Teachers' Status Recommendation" should be taken as a basis, and the rights and demands of all education workers, not just teachers, should be guaranteed. We call on all unions organized in the field of education to act together in order to carry out studies in this direction.