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New working hours agreement for teachers – what has changed

Wall clock on a grey wall
Published Sep 20, 2021

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.”

Portrait of Stefan Lagervall
“The most important change in the new agreement is that most of the organisational issues have been moved closer to the coalface. This is where knowledge of what is best for the organisation and the individual teacher can be found,” says Stefan Lagervall, Employment Law Specialist at KTH.

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.”

Portrait of Erik Edstam
“The most important changes compared to the previous agreement are greater clarity and more easily interpreted formulations, both when it comes to planning your time, and issues such as skills development. Duty plans will now be agreed as part of normal collaborative arrangements,” says Erik Edstam, on behalf of the ST union at KTH.

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.

Katarina Ahlfort
Photo: Unsplash

Would you like to have a say in creating interpretation directions?

A working group with employer and employee representatives is going to produce a template and examples of what a duty plan should look like.
Representatives from both parties are needed for the group – would you like to be involved? If so, please register your interest to Stefan Lagervall:

Belongs to: Current
Last changed: Sep 20, 2021