The Danish National Union of Upper Secondary School Teachers
Gymnasieskolernes Lærerforening, GL
The Danish National Union of Upper Secondary School Teachers, GL, was founded in 1890.
GL organises teachers in the general Upper Secondary Schools in Denmark.
Our 14,000 members all have a university degree.
In Denmark we have an integrated Primary and Lower Secondary school – the “Folkeskole”. After 10-11 years in the “Folkeskole” the pupils can choose between vocational schools (33 per cent’s choice) or a general upper secondary education (66 per cent’s choice).
The general Upper Secondary School system comprises below institutions, all with their own profile:
The Gymnasium (3 years)
HF (Higher Preparatory Education, which is taught either for 2 years at Gymnasium schools or at separate adult education centres, VUC)
HHX (Higher Commercial Examination) (3 years)
HTX (Higher Technical Examination) (3 years)
Examination from above schools all gives access to further studies at university level.
HHX and HTX, taught at technical Gymnasiums, also prepare for professional activities in the private sector.
GL is the only Danish organisation for teachers in the Gymnasium and HF, but we also organise teachers in general subjects at the HHX and at the HTX, giving us a high organisation rate: approx. 90 per cent. (Teachers at the technical Gymnasiums with a master’s degree in law are organised in
DJØF and those educated as engineers are organised in
GL’s main purpose is negotiation and counselling for our members with regard to their salary and working conditions, personal assistance towards our members, but also to play an active part in the public educational debate, both with the Ministry of Education, the Parliament, the schools and other interested partners.
Regulations for General Upper Secondary education are regulated on a national basis with a nation-wide set of curriculum and national exams laid down by the Danish Parliament/Ministry of Education.
Danish Upper Secondary Schools are public independent institutions (private foundations) yet with full public financing. Approx. 13 per cent of the general Upper Secondary Schools are private schools, however all subsidised by the state with 86 per cent public funding. (Private schools follow the same national curriculum as public schools and the teachers have the same qualifications, salary and working condition as those employed in the public schools).
Competence to teach in the Danish Upper Secondary Schools presupposes a university degree: main subject plus thesis (i.e. a master’s degree or above) in a subject relevant to the schools. The majority of teachers also have a relevant subsidiary subject at university level.
Within the first year of employment in the general upper secondary schools the graduate must complete a professional postgraduate teachers’ training programme (full salary paid) where the graduate for a year must teach under supervision, teach own classes, and follow theoretical pedagogic courses.
An increasing number of economic and administrative decisions are decentralised to the schools. Nowadays our local union representatives will negotiate with the principals regarding approx. 6-10 per cent of the salaries. There are no negotiations between the individual teacher and the principal regarding salary.
Teachers have the same working hours as are generally applied to the Danish labour market: 1,924 hours per year including holidays (37 hours in 52 weeks).
GL is an apolitical, member-driven organisation that receives no financial support from the Government. The highest authority is
GL’s Committee of Representatives.
GL’s Committee of Representatives, approx. 340 teachers, hold Assemblies (Congress) in November (2 days).
The Central Board, 13 members, is elected for a period of two years by a secret vote in November/December in odd years. The Central Board elects one of their members as President/Chairman at the first meeting after the election.
An Executive Committee is chosen from the Central Board.
GL’s bylaws and constitution can only be changed by ballot by all members. 2/3 of the members must be in favour of the changes.
GL cooperates with Danish as well as international organisations of teachers, of pupils, cultural- and governmental institutions etc.
GL is a member of:
Danish Ministry of Education
Danish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education who deals with recognition of foreign qualifications
Life in Denmark (Lifeindenmark.dk is a practical guide relevant to your stay in Denmark - whether you are here to work or study.)
Danish Working Environment Authority
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact GL.