Constitution of Education International

Article 1 NAME

The organisation shall be named:

(a) Education International (EI)

(b) Internationale de l'Education (IE)

(c) Internacional de la Educación (IE)

(d) Bildungsinternationale (BI)

 

Article 2 AIMS

The aims of the Education International shall be:

(a) to further the cause of organisations of teachers and education employees, to promote the status, interests and welfare of their members, and to defend their trade union and professional rights;

(b) to promote for all peoples and in all nations peace, democracy, social justice and equality; to promote the application of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights through the development of education and of the collective strength of teachers and education employees;

(c) to seek and maintain recognition of the trade union rights of workers in general and of teachers and education employees in particular; to promote the International Labour Standards, including freedom of association and the right to organize, to bargain collectively and to undertake industrial action, including strike action if necessary;

(d) to enhance the conditions of work and terms of employment of teachers and education employees, and to promote their professional status in general, through support for member organisations and representation of their interests before the United Nations, its specialized agencies and other appropriate and relevant intergovernmental organisations.

(e) to support and promote the professional freedoms of teachers and education employees and the right of their organisations to participate in the formulation and implementation of educational policies;

(f) to promote the right to education for all persons in the world, without discrimination, and to this end:

   (i) to pursue the establishment and protection of open, publicly funded and controlled educational systems, and academic and cultural institutions, aimed at the democratic, social, cultural and economic development of society and the preparation of every citizen for active and responsible participation in society;

   (ii) to promote the political, social and economic conditions that are required for the realisation of the right to education in all nations, for the achievement of equal educational opportunities for all, for the expansion of public educational services and for the improvement of their quality;

(g) to foster a concept of education directed towards international understanding and good will, the safeguarding of peace and freedom, and respect for human dignity;

(h) to combat all forms of racism and of bias or discrimination in education and society due to gender, marital status, sexual orientation, age, religion, political opinion, social or economic status or national or ethnic origin;

(i) to give particular attention to developing the leadership role and involvement of women in society, in the teaching profession and in organisations of teachers and education employees;

(j) to build solidarity and mutual cooperation among member organisations;

(k) to encourage through their organisations closer relationships among teachers and education employees in all countries and at all levels of education;

(l) to promote and to assist in the development of independent and democratic organisations of teachers and education employees, particularly in those countries where political, social, economic or other conditions impede the application of their human and trade union rights, the advancement of their terms and working conditions and the improvement of educational services;

(m) to promote unity among all independent and democratic trade unions both within the educational sector and with other sectors; and thereby contribute to the further development of the international trade union movement.

 

Article 3 GENERAL PRINCIPLES

(a) The Education International shall be guided by the ideals of democracy, human rights and social justice.

(b) The Education International shall be independent of every government. It shall be self-governing and not subject to control by any political party or ideological or religious grouping.

(c) The Education International shall be associated with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), work closely with the other Global Union Federations (GUFs) and participate in the Council of Global Unions. Its association with the ITUC and involvement with the Council will not affect its status as an independent and autonomous body. Neither ITUC nor the Council may interfere in Education International’s internal affairs. Furthermore:

   (i) any change in this relationship shall be subject to ratification by the Education International's World Congress;

   (ii) affiliation of member organisations with national trade union centres is a matter to be determined solely by those member organisations.

(d) The Education International shall not interfere in the internal affairs of member organisations. It shall respect internal freedom and diversity of expression in accordance with the principles of the constitution.

 

Article 4 MEMBERSHIP

(a) The Education International shall be composed of organisations of teachers and education and research employees upholding the principles of independent trade unionism and aspiring to enhance democracy, human rights and social justice in their respective nations, to improve the living and working conditions of their members and to advance education through trade union action.

(b) Any national organisation composed predominantly of teachers and education employees1 shall have the right to apply for membership and shall be admitted as a member of the Education International by the Executive Board, provided that the applicant:

   (i) subscribes to the aims and principles as described in Article 2 and 3 - and is thereby actively engaged in promoting the overall professional and trade union interests of its members;

   (ii) pledges to fulfil the obligations of membership as described in Article 6;

   (iii) is, to the extent possible, national in character and scope and representative of teachers and/or other education employees in its country. The term country is defined according to membership in the United Nations. Nevertheless applications may also be considered from organisations at the regional level in a country where there is no national member.

Exceptions to this provision may be made by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting at the Executive Board.

   (iv) practices internal democracy in the designation of its leadership, in the determination of its goals, policies and activities and in the management and administration of all of its affairs;

   (v) is self-governing and not under the control of any political party, government and ideological or religious grouping;

   (vi) is not affiliated to or formally associated with other international teacher's trade union bodies or with their regional structures. This restriction does not apply in the case of affiliation to autonomous regional bodies.

   (vii) is not part of an organisation already in membership, such that acceptance of the application would create double affiliation.

(c) If an application is received from an organisation operating in a country in which the Education International already has a member organisation, the Executive Board will consult with the member organisation(s) concerned before making its decision. In the event that the decision of the Executive Board on a membership application is contested, an appeal may be made to the World Congress in accordance with the By-laws. The decision of the World Congress shall be final.

(d) Only applications duly authorised by the applicant's governing body shall be taken into consideration by the Executive Board.

(e) Education International may also admit into a special category of associate membership, as defined in the EI By-Laws, for a fixed period or periods, organisations which do not meet fully the membership criteria set out in (b) above. Applications for such associate membership shall be processed in accordance with the conditions set out in (c) and (d) above.

 

Article 5 COMMITTEE OF EXPERTS ON MEMBERSHIP

(a) A Committee of Experts shall be established to report to the Executive Board on the application of membership criteria in cases where the Executive Board considers further inquiry to be necessary in order to reach a decision, or in cases where charges are brought against a member organisation.

(b) Procedures for the establishment and operation of the Committee of Experts shall be determined in the By-laws.

 

Article 6 RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS

(a) Every member organisation shall have the same constitutional rights and shall be bound by the same constitutional responsibilities, including the payment of membership fees as provided under Article 19.

(b) From the date of admission to the Education International every member organisation shall accept the following obligations:

   (i) to promote their members' awareness of the aims and work of the Education International;

   (ii) to promote the interests of the Education International;

   (iii) to inform the Education International about all major actions taken in pursuance of the Education International's aims;

   (iv) to keep the Education International informed about national activities.

 

Article 7 SUSPENSION, EXCLUSION AND WITHDRAWAL FROM MEMBERSHIP

Suspension of membership and investigation of charges

(a) In the event that it is charged that a member organisation violates or ceases to fulfil the requirements of the Constitution, on the basis of a complaint lodged by the governing body of another member organisation, or on the initiative of the Executive Board itself, the Executive Board shall refer the matter for investigation to the Committee of Experts established under the provisions of Article 5.

(b) Pending the outcome of such an investigation by the Committee of Experts the Executive Board may decide, by a two thirds majority of those who are present and voting at a quorate session, to suspend the organisation under investigation from membership.

(c) An organisation which is suspended from membership shall not be eligible to be represented at activities of the organisation, shall not receive grants from the organisation under any scheme and its representatives will also be suspended from participating in the governing structures of the organisation at any level.

(d) An organisation which is suspended from membership must continue to fulfil its obligations to pay membership fees in accordance with the provisions of Article 19.

(e) An investigation initiated under (a) or (f) must be completed within twelve months of the decision of the Executive Board to initiate the investigation. If the investigation has not been completed within twelve months the suspension must be lifted automatically.

(f) The Executive Board may also decide to suspend an organisation from membership by a two thirds majority of those who are present and voting at a quorate session on the basis of complaints from within the organisation that it has not adhered to the terms of its own constitution and by-laws. Such complaints may be investigated initially by the secretariat and, if the outcome of such investigation is not satisfactory, may be referred to the Committee of Experts for investigation.

 

Procedures for investigation by the Committee of Experts

(g) In the event that the Executive Board initiates a referral of an organisation to the Committee of Experts, the following requirements shall be met:

   (i) The Committee of Experts shall enquire into the charges and conduct a due hearing before presenting its finding to the Executive Board.

   (ii) The organisation whose membership status is under review by the Committee of Experts, shall be given due notice, a copy of the charges, the right to respond to the charges, and a copy of the finding of the Committee of Experts.

   (iii) The finding of the Committee of Experts shall be communicated to the Executive Board for action as specified in the By-Laws.

 

Conclusions of investigation and exclusion from membership

(h) If the findings of an investigation conclude that the matter has been resolved or that the complaint was unfounded the member organisation shall be re-instated at the next Executive Board meeting.

(i) If the findings of an investigation conclude that the charge against the organisation is justified the Executive Board may exclude the organisation from membership or may grant the organisation a period of not more than six months within which to rectify the situation to the satisfaction of the Executive Board. The organisation will remain suspended until the six month period has elapsed or until it rectifies the situation. If it has not rectified the situation within the specified six month period it shall be excluded from membership.

(j) A two thirds majority of those who are both present and voting at a quorate session shall be required for the Executive Board to exclude an organisation from membership.

(k) The member organisation concerned shall be informed of the decision of the Executive Board and of the reasons justifying that decision.

(l) Any organisation which is more than twenty four (24) months in arrears of the payment of its membership dues, without the approval of the Executive Board, shall be excluded from membership.

(m) Any member organisation that has been suspended or excluded by the Executive Board, other than for being in arrears of the payment of membership dues, shall have the right of appeal to the World Congress under conditions to be specified in the By-Laws.

 

Withdrawal from membership

(n) An organisation which seeks to withdraw from membership in Education International shall provide notification of such intention six months in advance. Financial obligations to Education International shall not expire until the end of the six month period.

(o) Only notifications of withdrawal duly authorised by the member organisation's governing body, shall be taken into consideration by the Executive Board.”

 

Article 8 ORGANISATION

The organisation of the Education International shall be:

(a) Governing Bodies

   (i) World Congress; and

   (ii) Executive Board;

(b) Committee of Experts on Membership

(c) Regional Structures

(d) Standing Committees

   (i) Advisory Bodies

   (ii) Status of Women

   (iii) Finance

   (iv) Constitution and By-laws

(e) Other Committees

(f) The Secretariat.

 

Article 9 WORLD CONGRESS

(a) The World Congress shall be the supreme authority of the Education International.

(b) An ordinary session of the Congress shall:

   (i) adopt its rules of procedure and agenda;

   (ii) elect the President, Vice Presidents, General Secretary and other members of the Executive Board;

   (iii) appoint the auditors;

   (iv) appoint the internal Audit Committee

   (v) determine the policies, principles of action and programme of the Education International;

   (vi) consider the activity report of the General Secretary;

   (vii) consider the audited financial report, adopt the general budget, and determine the membership fees.

(c) The Congress shall have the authority to amend the Constitution by a two-thirds majority vote or the By-laws by a majority vote and to take final decisions in case of appeals concerning applications for membership, the suspension or expulsion of member organisations or the removal of members of the Executive Board.

(d) The Congress shall be composed of delegates representing member organisations and of the Executive Board.

(e) Each member organisation shall be entitled to one delegate; additional delegates shall be allocated to each member organisation whose membership fees have been paid in full prior to the World Congress in accordance with the following scale:

   (i) up to 10,000 members 1 delegate; and

   (ii) more than 10,000 members, 1 additional delegate for every 10,000 members or a part thereof with a maximum of 50 delegates for any one organisation.

(f) Votes shall be allocated to each member organisation whose membership fees have been paid in full prior to the World Congress in accordance with the following scale: up to 5,000 members1 vote; and more than 5,000 members, 1 additional vote for every 5,000 members or a part thereof.

(g) A fully paid up organisation may vote by proxy provided it has given advance notice in writing to the General Secretary.

(h) Member organisations shall receive provisional notification by the General Secretary of the number of delegates and votes to be allocated to them. A Credentials Committee to be appointed by the Executive Board shall verify and determine the allocation of delegate credentials and voting rights for each member organisation. No roll-call voting or election shall take place until the World Congress has adopted the report of the Credentials Committee.

(i) The venue, date and provisional agenda of the Ordinary Congress shall be determined by the Executive Board, taking into account the recommendations made by the preceding Congress, and by the Regional Committees. Notification of the convening of the Ordinary Congress shall be given at least nine (9) months prior to the scheduled date.

(j) The Congress shall meet in ordinary session at least every four years.

(k) An Extraordinary Congress may be convened on the authority of the Executive Board (by a two-thirds majority vote) or shall be convened at the formal and properly substantiated request of at least twenty five (25) member organisations together representing at least one quarter of the paid membership.

 

Article 10 EXECUTIBE BOARD

(a) The Executive Board shall direct the affairs and activities of the Education International between World Congresses in conformity with the resolutions and decisions of the latter.

(b) The Executive Board shall:

   (i) draft the agenda for the World Congress;

   (ii) review implementation of the resolutions and decisions of the World Congress;

   (iii) initiate policies and actions in accordance with the resolutions and decisions of the World Congress and with the aims and principles of the Education International;

   (iv) review and approve financial statements, establish annual budgets, and submit a general budget to the World Congress;

   (v) consider applications for membership, in accordance with Articles 4 and 5;

   (vi) consider suspensions or exclusions of member organisations, in accordance with Article 7;

   (vii) determine standards, in accordance with recognised trade union practice, and procedures regarding the appointment, suspension, salary and conditions of employment of staff;

   (viii) determine the salary and conditions of employment of the General Secretary;

   (ix) submit to the World Congress a report on its decisions and activities.

(c) The Executive Board shall be composed of twenty-six (26) members, including:

   (i) the President and five (5) Vice Presidents, one Vice President from each Region;

   (ii) a General Secretary;

   (iii) ten (10) members, two from each region, and

   (iv) nine (9) members;

at least three (3) of the group comprising the President and Vice Presidents, and at least one member from each region shall be women.

(d) The term of office of each member of the Executive Board shall expire

   (i) at the end of each ordinary session of the World Congress. Each member of the Executive Board shall be eligible for reelection for two additional terms in the same position, except that there shall be no limitation on the number of terms which may be served by the General Secretary;

   (ii) at such time as an organisation to which the member belongs is no longer a member of the Education International.

(e) A person holding a position outside the Education International or its member organisations which would be in conflict with his/her independent responsibility to the Education International cannot be a member of the Executive Board.

(f) The Executive Board may remove a member from office under the following conditions:

   (i) an objection raised by a member organisation in writing to the continuance in office of a member of the Executive Board who at the time of his or her election was a member or officer of that member organisation;

   (ii) cessation of eligibility for membership of the Executive Board under article 10(e).

   (iii) grave misconduct or dereliction of duty.

(g) An Executive Board member whose removal from office is under consideration shall have the right to be informed in writing of the objections raised and to respond before a meeting of the Executive Board. In the event of removal, the member concerned shall have the right of appeal to the World Congress.

(h) In the event of a vacancy the Executive Board may appoint a replacement. If it so decides and the vacancy occurs:

   (i) in the position of President, a Vice-President shall be appointed as President until the next Congress;

   (ii) in the position of Vice-President, a member of the Executive Board shall be appointed until the next Congress;

   (iii) in the position of General Secretary, a replacement shall be appointed until the next Congress.

   (iv) in any other position, the Executive shall invite nominations from the Board and also seek a nomination, to which it shall give strong consideration, from the national organisation of the member being replaced. The person shall be appointed until the next Congress.

(i) The Executive Board shall meet in ordinary session at least once a year.

(j) An extraordinary session of the Executive Board may be convened on the authority of the President or General Secretary and shall be convened at the formal and properly substantiated request of a two-thirds majority of members of the Board from organisations together representing at least one quarter of the paid membership.

 

Article 11 FUNCTIONS OF PRESIDENT, VICE-PRESIDENTS AND GENERAL SECRETARY

(a) The President shall be the principal representative of the organisation; he/she, or in his/her absence, one of the Vice-Presidents shall:

   (i) chair the World Congress;

   (ii) chair the meetings of the Executive Board;

   (iii) represent the Education International, in consultation with the General Secretary.

(b) The General Secretary shall be the Principal Executive Officer of the organisation; he/she shall:

   (i) maintain liaison with member organisations, Regional Structures, Sectoral and other Standing Committees, and other bodies within the Education International; with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the Global Union Federations and other non?governmental organisations; and with inter-governmental bodies;

   (ii) convene and prepare meetings of the Executive Board and of the World Congress in accordance with decisions of the Executive Board;

   (iii) keep a record of the proceedings of the Congress and of the Executive Board;

   (iv) implement the decisions of the World Congress and the Executive Board;

   (v) submit activity reports to the Executive Board and to the World Congress each time they meet;

   (vi) conduct the affairs of the Education International between meetings of the Executive Board, in accordance with the decisions taken by the Executive Board and the World Congress.

   (vii) be responsible to the Executive Board and the World Congress for the work of the Secretariat and for all staffing matters;

(c) The President, Vice-Presidents and General Secretary shall meet at least once between Executive Board meetings.

 

Article 12 SECRETARIAT

(a) The General Secretary shall be assisted by a secretariat staff to fulfil the tasks mentioned in Article 11(b).

(b) The secretariat staff shall include at least one Deputy General Secretary to be appointed by the Executive Board in consultation with the General Secretary.

(c) The standards and procedures regarding the appointment, suspension, salaries and conditions of employment of staff members shall be determined by the Executive Board.

(d) The appointment, suspension, salaries and conditions of employment of staff members, with the exception of the appointment of a Deputy General Secretary, shall be attended to by the General Secretary in accordance with standards and procedures set out by the Executive Board.

(e) In the event of suspension by the General Secretary, the individual suspended shall have the right of appeal to the next meeting of the Executive Board, or, with the approval of the suspended employee, through an alternative procedure to be established by the Executive Board.

 

Article 13 REGIONAL STRUCTURES

(a) The Education International shall establish five (5) regions:

   (i) Africa;

   (ii) North America and the Caribbean;

   (iii) Asia and the Pacific;

   (iv) Europe; and

   (v) Latin America

(b) The definition of regions and the allocations of countries to them shall be established in the by-laws.

(c) A regional structure may be established to:

   (i) advise the Executive Board on policies and activities to be undertaken by the Education International in the concerned region;

   (ii) develop and promote policies in relation to any regional intergovernmental body and represent member organisations at that body.

(d) A Regional Structure shall be governed according to By-Laws approved by the Executive Board. Reports of such a Regional Structure shall be submitted to the Executive Board.

(e) The Education International may also establish such sub-regional and cross-regional structures as it deems necessary to provide advice to the Executive Board on policies and activities which may be undertaken in countries in a sub-region or in countries in more than one region, where the countries are linked by the existence of a an intergovernmental body for the governments of the countries concerned, or by a cultural or linguistic inheritance. Such structures shall be governed by By-Laws approved by the Executive Board.

 

Article 14 ADVISORY BODIES

(a) Advisory bodies may be established for the purpose of advising the Executive Board on specific policies and activities concerning but not limited to sectoral and cross-sectoral educational and professional areas of interest to EI and its member organisations.

(b) Advisory bodies may include round tables, working groups, task forces, or similar bodies

(c) The Executive Board may seek recommendations from member organisations regarding the composition of such advisory bodies, where appropriate, and shall determine their purposes and procedures, in line with the programme and budget priorities established by the World Congress.

 

Article 15 STATUS OF WOMEN COMMITTEE

(a) A Status of Women Committee shall be established to recommend policies and activities to be undertaken by the Education International to promote equality of women and girls in society, in education and in the trade union movement.

(b) The Status of Women Committee shall be composed of women by the Executive Board from among its members. The Chairperson shall be elected by the Committee. The Executive Board shall determine its purposes and procedures.

 

Article 16 CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS COMMITTEE

(a) The Executive Board shall establish a Constitution and By-laws Committee to:

   (i) review all proposals to amend the Constitution and By-laws and advise the Executive Board  accordingly;

   (ii) provide advice on constitutional matters referred to it by the Executive Board.

(b) The Constitution and By-laws Committee shall be composed of members of the Executive Board. The Chairperson shall be appointed by the Board.

 

Article 17 FINANCE COMMITTEE

(a) The Executive Board shall establish a Finance Committee to supervise the management of the financial affairs of the Education International and to report accordingly to the Executive Board and the World Congress.

(b) The Finance Committee shall be composed of members of the Executive Board and shall meet at least once a year. The Chairperson shall be appointed by the Board.

(c) The Chairperson of the Finance Committee shall present financial reports to the Executive Board and on its behalf to the World Congress.

 

Article 18 FINANCES

(a) The General Secretary shall be entrusted with the management of income and expenditures. Expenditures shall be governed by Financial Regulations within the framework of the annual budget, drafted by the Finance Committee upon the basis of proposals submitted by the General Secretary. This budget shall be submitted to the Executive Board for its endorsement.

(b) The accounts of Education International shall be closed on December 31 of each year, and shall be audited by a qualified accountant registered according to international standards. The financial and auditors' reports shall be presented to the annual meeting of the Executive Board, and the auditors' reports shall be presented to the Congress.

(c) Only Education International tangible properties shall be considered as security for financial liabilities. Elected members of the Education International shall not be held legally responsible for such liabilities.

(d) The financial year shall be the calendar year.

 

Article 19 MEMBERSHIP DUES 

(a) Dues to be paid by the member organisations shall be determined by the World Congress on a per capita basis according to a scale which allows for the different economic circumstances of countries. Specifications shall be given in the By-laws.

(b) Membership fees shall be paid before March 31 of each year, and shall be computed on the membership reported as of September 30 of the preceding year.

(c) If a member organisation is unable to fulfil its financial obligations, owing to extraordinary circumstances, the Executive Board shall have the authority to grant a delay, a temporary reduction or, in extreme cases, a temporary exemption from the payment of such fees. Such special agreements must be established in writing, and shall be limited to a maximum of three years, extension being subject to review by the Executive Board.

 

Article 20 SOLIDARITY FUND

(a) The Education International shall establish a Solidarity Fund.

(b) The Education International shall regularly invite member organisations to contribute on a voluntary basis to the Solidarity Fund.

(c) Rules governing the Solidarity Fund shall be given in the By-laws.

 

Article 21 OFFICIAL LANGUAGES

The official languages of the Education International shall be English, French, German and Spanish.

 

Article 22 HEADQUATERS AND OTHER OFFICES

(a) The location of the headquarters office of the Education International shall be Brussels.

(b) The Education International shall be incorporated under the laws of the country in which the Headquarters office is located.

(c) The location of other offices shall be determined by the Executive Board upon the recommendation of the General Secretary.

 

Article 23 BY-LAWS AND RULES OF PROCEDURE

By-laws and rules of procedure shall be appended to this constitution in order to regulate such matters as elections, conduct of the Congress and Executive Board meetings, and other matters referred to it by the Constitution.

 

Article 24 INTERPRETATION

In the event of question or doubt as to the interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution or By-laws, the English text shall be considered as original and authentic. The interpretation of the Constitution and By-laws is within the purview of the Executive Board.

 

Article 25 AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION

(a) Notices of motion to amend the Constitution must be submitted in writing to the General Secretary not less than six (6) months before the opening date of the Congress. They shall be circulated to all member organisations at least three (3) months prior to the opening of the Congress together with any comments which the Executive Board may wish to communicate to members.

(b) A proposed amendment to the constitution shall be declared adopted if supported by not less than two-thirds of the eligible votes of member organisations which have registered their attendance at the Congress.

 

Article 26 DISSOLUTION

(a) The World Congress shall be the only body authorised to decide upon the dissolution of the Education International, provided that a proposal to that effect has been placed on the Congress agenda, and provided that at least six months notice has been given to a specific motion to this effect.

(b) A resolution calling for dissolution shall be implemented, provided that it has secured at least a two third majority of the votes cast. It shall be binding upon the World Congress to make specific provision for the discharge of any financial obligations of the Education International, including obligations to its staff and for the disposal of its assets.

 

Article 27 TRANSITION

The provisions contained in the document entitled "Transitional Arrangements" shall have constitutional force so long as those provisions are applicable.

 

 

Footnotes

1 Definition of scope of membership : References throughout this constitution to teachers and educational employees should be interpreted in the broadest sense, since member organisations may also include, for example, employees engaged in research or in cultural or youth services.

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