The Teachers' Union for Danish Independent Schools
- We organise teachers employed by Danish private and independent schools, which are alternatives to the public school system.
- We are a nonprofit private service organisation owned by more than 9,000 members. The organisation is led by elected leaders and is thus a democratic organisation. The number of employees is approximately 40.
- Our mission is to maintain and advance the professional, educational, legal and economic interests of our members.
- As a member, you become part of a professional community of independent school teachers whom you can meet and exchange experiences with at courses and events both locally and on a national scale.
- Our activities include negotiating a collective agreement with the Danish Ministry of Finance every two or three years, providing legal aid to members, handling local negotiations at private schools regarding pay and working hours and offering crisis/stress counselling.
- When joining FSL as a foreign teacher, you receive the same membership benefits as your Danish colleagues. Counselling can be conducted in English, and the same goes for help with your enquiries regarding e.g. courses and membership benefits.
The Danish Way
As a teacher at an independent school, you are entitled to e.g. maternity/paternity leave, six weeks of holiday, pay supplements, 17.3% in pension and a working hour agreement that balances work and leisure.
These rights have not come about automatically. They have been negotiated by FSL (The Teachers' Union of Danish Independent Schools) through the Danish model.
The Danish model is an internationally recognised labour market model where the state leaves it to the concerned parties themselves to negotiate key agreements regarding salaries, working hours and time off.
This negotiation system has been characteristic of the Danish labour market for over 100 years, but to have influence you must be a member of a union.
Every second or third year, FSL negotiates agreements on salaries, pensions, working hours, resignation, holidays and professional development. These agreements only apply to teachers at independent schools.
The rights apply to all teachers - both members and non-members. But it is only as a member of FSL that you can get help if you do not receive what you are entitled to.
It is therefore necessary to become a member of FSL in order to have influence on the agreements and to ensure that you are getting the pay and working conditions you are entitled to.
Teachers’ Union for Danish Independent Schools (FSL) offers to visit all members and potential members at the school. We will tell you about FSL, rules and regulations in regard to working hours, salary, holiday, pension etc. If you would be interested in such a visit, please contact us to set a date.
In April, 2016 international members of FSL were invited to a seminar at Hornstrup Kursuscenter near Vejle. The program was a mix of professional development of teaching skills, information about FSL and union related issues as well the opportunity to meet other international teachers from around the country.
The webpage of FSL is in Danish. However, we send news letters to our international members a couple of times during the year. And we continue to expand the English part of the webpage. Also check out the News in English section.
International Schools and departments
- An international school is an independent school whereas an international department is part of a Danish independent school. The teaching is done mainly in English by native speakers. Some of the schools are IB schools following the International Baccalaureate Program, others follow the Cambridge Program.
- In Denmark there are 6 international schools, 7 international departments and a few other independent schools offering English classes ending with the Cambridge Exam.