New working hours agreement for teachers – what has changed
The working hours agreement for teachers dating from 1999 has now been updated and modernised.
“Our hope in the negotiating group has been to reach a new agreement that will contribute to benefiting both our organisation and increase job satisfaction, and I think we have succeeded in this,” says Stefan Lagervall, Employment Law Specialist at KTH.
How would you summarise the main changes compared to the previous agreement?
“We have now clarified what work-related duties normally fall within teaching obligations. In addition to teaching duties, this can concern participating in workplace meetings and departmental duties for example,” says Lagervall.
“Another change is that it is now easier to deviate from the norm of a teaching hour requiring three hours of preparatory work. Three hours is still the norm, but all that is required to deviate from this, either upwards or downwards, is reasons for this.”
Something else that is new is that the negotiating parties have added interpretation directions to the agreement.
“These directions make it easier to apply the agreement in the same way in all parts of KTH.”
What do you see as the biggest benefit of the new agreement?
“That the agreement is ‘freerer’, in the sense it is not entirely governed centrally. A large number of decisions can now be made locally at the coalface as it were, instead of via a dialogue between manager and employee.”
The agreement was signed recently, but all the autumn semester schedules have already been set, how then can the new agreement be adhered to?
“The new agreement came into force on 1 August and does not contain any transition provisions, and in principle, it should be applied in full. However, the local parties understand that a running-in period will be required. However, the old agreement ought to have been phased out by the autumn semester 2022 at least.”
Erik Edstam, a board member of the ST union at KTH, is very much in favour of greater participation in duty plans.
“The new agreement should enable opportunities for better KTH-wide insight into how teachers plan their working hours. Each individual employee will benefit from the fact that the process has been made clearer. And the interpretation directions agreed by all parties will offer further support in this and are, to my way of thinking, an important part of the agreement.”
In what ways would you say that the new agreement can contribute to greater job satisfaction?
“Clearer conditions for teacher skills development and work within the whole of KTH offers greater security and a similar management process, no matter which part of the organisation an employee works. This should minimise frustration and questions about duty planning,” Edstam adds.