Facts on BUPL and the members
Read about the history of BUPL and the working conditions of its members
The Union of Pedagogues
The first union of pedagogues in Denmark was founded in 1932. It organized pedagogues working in the Kindergartens, and in 1973 this union merged with the unions of nurseries nurses and “free time” educators into the union of pedagogues today known as BUPL, Danish Union of Early Childhood and Youth Educators (in Danish: BUPL, Forbundet for pædagoger og klubfolk).
Members and Centres
Even though membership is not mandatory, BUPL is the Union for more than 90 percent of the professional staff in:
- Nurseries (children aged 0-3 years)
- Kindergartens (children aged 3-6 years)
- Age-integrated childcare centers (children aged 0-6 years)
- Free time centers/out of school care (children aged 6-10 years)
- Free time clubs/Youth clubs (young people aged 14-18 years).
BUPL organizes 54000 pedagogues
In connection with the women’s rapidly increasing educational and occupational participation over the past 30 years, the area of the day care centres has expanded.
Today BUPL’s members are working in 8000 centres with more than 500.000 Danish children aged between 0-10 years. It is becoming normal for children’s social and comprehensive education and care to attend these centres, and thus 95 percent of all children from 3-6 years are in kindergarten while parents are at work. The figures for children aged 0-3 is 85% and also 85% for 6-10 years children.
If the job is being a pedagogue it is most likely the person is a woman, because of BUPL’s members only 14 percent of the pedagogues are men.
The weekly working hours are 37 hours, and pedagogues have 6 weeks holiday with full pay per annum. They receive full pay during illness and have a pension scheme under which the employer makes pension contributions equivalent to at least 12 percent of the salary. The monthly salary is between 22000 and 25000 Danish Crowns (on average 3.150 €) and higher for principals (on average 4.150 €).
The salary and working conditions are fixed nationally by collective bargaining every third year and supplemented at the local level.
Defending Children and Pedagogues
The aims of BUPL are to defend the professional rights of the pedagogues, both in the field of salary and working conditions as well as professional freedom and autonomy.
As an organization independent of political parties BUPL also use the right to negotiate and to influence on politics regarding the quality of education and care in the different types of child care centres - no matter the political party or government in charge.
Democracy in BUPL and in Denmark
BUPL has 12 local Union Branches situated in each Region of Denmark and in the major cities. These local branches of the Union are responsible for negotiating and entering into agreements on wages, pedagogical issues and other working conditions with local authorities. It is their responsibility to safeguard the day-to-day interests of the members at local level.
Not only municipals and local unions have a word to say on the pedagogics of the center. The costs of the centres are covered partly by taxes and partly by parents fees. In cooperation with the pedagogues the parents have a say of the principles for the pedagogics of the center through the Parents Boards.
The access to child care centres is an expected service to Danish families, because almost all parents have jobs, and also today’s many single parents.