Member area

Science and Technology Policy Ministers agree to engage with unions and enhance teaching and research professions

24 April 2024

The OECD Declaration on Transformative Science, Technology and Innovation Policies for a Sustainable and Inclusive Future adopted today by ministers from OECD countries:

  • Acknowledges the importance of engaging trade unions and business in the design, implementation and evaluation of science, technology and innovation policies; and
  • Commits Ministers to promote measures to enhance the attractiveness and availability of quality careers for research and teaching professions.

The Declaration made at the OECD Ministerial meeting of Science and Technology Policy Ministers in Paris on 23-24 April 2024 commits more generally to

  • Develop and implement science, technology and innovation policies to help implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals;
  • Continue investing in public research and development as well as promoting incentives for private sector R&D; and
  • Foster a skilled and agile workforce by promoting diverse, equitable and inclusive access to skills training and lifelong learning.

TUAC welcomes the positive commitments made by Ministers but is disappointed by the absence of more precise pledges and the lack of a sense of urgency to take action to mitigate the potential risks posed by emerging technologies. Ministers could also have placed more emphasis on social dialogue with unions and business.

The Declaration does commit Ministers to reduce ‘precarity among researchers’ and ‘improving their working conditions’ but unfortunately makes no reference to pay or the need to work with unions.

“The OECD Science and Technology Policy Ministers Declaration makes positive statements about engaging with unions and enhancing teaching and research professions. But it is weak on detail and on the need to address the risks posed by emerging technologies."

— Veronica Nilsson, General Secretary of TUAC

“We urge Ministers to meet with trade unions to discuss how to implement what they have committed to and ensure that the benefits of technology and innovation are shared fairly,” said Veronica Nilsson, General Secretary of TUAC.

To download and read the OECD Ministerial Declaration in full, click here.