samedi 21 juil. 2018

Language schools – Yes, teachers have rights too


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Maybe you’ve been working in a language school in France for many years now, or perhaps you’ve just arrived. You may have started teaching languages because it was the job you really wanted to do, or you may have ‘drifted’ into the job. Although you enjoy your job, you may be dissatisfied with your working conditions. Or you may dislike your job, but feel that you might like it more if things improved.


Whatever your own story, remember that you have the same rights, and the same right to demand better conditions, as any other salaried worker in France. Language teaching is now a highly professional job, and one that is increasingly essential in an ever more interconnected world.

Our sector is regulated (as are all professions in France) by a Convention Collective (national agreement) negotiated between the trade unions and the employers’ organisations. This agreement, ‘Convention collective des organismes de formation’ n° 3249, regulates your rights regarding contracts, pay, hours, hiring and firing, sick leave, holidays, training, pension rights, etc.

You can obtain this document on the Journal Officiel website (, on the website of the SNPEFP-CGT trade union (National Union of Private Education and Training Workers) ( or on the site of the employers’ organisation, the FFP (Professional Training Federation),


The problems affecting language teachers in most schools haven’t changed much over the years: unpaid availability time and travel time, inadequate pay,  lack of promotion and career structure, and especially if you’re a teacher of  a ‘rare’ language, a complete lack of job security.


And yet the vocational training sector is undergoing rapid expansion. According to the employers’ federation, turnover in training companies increased by 8% in 2007, and is set to increase to 9% in 2008. Despite shakeups in the industry, there’s no lack of work, as a quick glance at the job offers page in papers such as FUSAC will confirm.


But the only people benefiting from this favourable situation appear to be the employers. This could be a good time for those who work in the sector to press for improvements in our working conditions. In any case, no one else will do it for us!


More and more language teachers are starting to act by getting organised, discussing their problems and contacting or joining a trade union. The more we do this and insist that our rights be respected, the more likely we are to improve our conditions.


One way to start is to contact a trade union. You can visit us at our regular ‘surgery’ every Thursday from 5.30 pm to 7.30 pm at: La Bourse du Travail, 3 rue du Château d’Eau, 75010 Paris Metro République, 4th floor room 408.

Or phone us at 01 44 84 51 27 and 06 81 93 25 24.

Or email us at





article in English


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