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Joint Strategy Paper

The strategy paper "Quality in Academia and Life“ summarises the common aims and strategies of the Work-Life Balance partnership. It deals with the improvement of general conditions for arrangements of work-life balances and their transparency to promote the European dimension in the area of professional careers. It is the result of the cooperation of three trade unions.

Strategy Paper

This strategy paper is the result of the multilateral partnership “Work-Life Balance and gender specific career patterns in higher education and science” funded by the Lifelong Learning Programme Leornardo da Vinci, during the period August 1, 2008 to July 31, 2010.

Our joint strategy is the result of systematic exchange of knowledge, data, and experiences. It is the aim to support transparency, information, and orientation concerning Europe-wide mobility, to support gender equality and to increase the share of women among academic staff. It should be helpful to individuals, equity officers, and trade unions.

In section 1 we look at the academic workplaces in the United Kingdom, Sweden and Germany and the combination of teaching and research work with caring responsibility for children, handicapped, elderly or sick relatives.

In section 2 we make improvement proposals. We initially agree upon five common goals to achieve work-life balance for university teachers and researchers. In this section we also list various examples of actions which can be taken to achieve these aims.

In section 3 we present actions to be taken at national and institutional levels in the United Kingdom, Sweden and Germany respectively. We make suggestions on actions to be implemented at the European level by the European Commission and within the scope of the Bologna process. And we offer some advice to other European unions and to EI/ETUCE.

Five common goals to achieve work-life balance for university teachers and researchers

  1. For the sake of justice and for the sake of quality of higher education and research, to make the academic career equally attractive and feasible to women and men.
  2. To fight the hidden prejudices/attitudes in higher education institutions.
  3. To have greater flexibility in working arrangements.
  4. To extend work-life balance options to those without children; work-life balance options should be open to all university teachers and researchers, with or without children.
  5. To improve work-life balance as a part of the unions' fight for fair salaries and reasonable working conditions.