World Education Support Personnel Day (ESP Day) was launched in connection with Education International’s (EI) first-ever ESP Conference in 2018, following the adoption of the ESP Resolution at the 7th World Congress in 2015. The Conference endorsed a declaration on the rights and status of education support personnel, calling for its application worldwide.
EI mirrors many of the policies of OSSTF/FEESO. They believe in public education and that unions create a more optimal workplace for workers. EI shares the work that OSSTF/FEESO has done in promoting social justice, peace and democracy, as well as enhancing the working conditions of teachers and education workers. They promote the right to education for all persons in the world, without discrimination, and work to prepare every citizen for active and responsible participation in society. EI actively promotes unity among all independent and democratic trade unions within the educational sector, in cooperation with independent trade unions in other sectors, building the international trade union movement.
Similar to World Teachers’ Day, World Education Support Personnel Day, on May 16, is an occasion to celebrate the work of Education Support Personnel in Ontario and across the globe, to emphasize their role in ensuring quality education, and to shine a light on the challenges that ESP still face at work.
Education International surveyed education support personnel across the globe and found, similarly to what OSSTF/FEESO knows, that education support personnel feel undervalued and rarely recognized in the school community. Many ESP members worldwide feel uncertain about their employment security and often leave work for summer shutdowns, unsure if they will be returning to work in the fall. These jobs are often precarious for workers, who are predominantly women, and who, globally, usually earn a living below the poverty line and have little or no opportunity for advancement.
We would like you to join us in celebrating World Education Support Personnel Day on May 16 and recognize the vital work that all education support personnel bring to the education and well-being of our students.