The VBE published a brochure on violence against teachers. Based on results of a study conducted upon request of the VBE on violence against teachers, the brochure includes practical guidelines on what to do in the case of violent incidents. Udo Beckmann, Federal Chairman of the VBE, explains that this publication aims at moving violence out of the taboo zone. He furthermore stresses: “Not only do we want to point out hazardous situations, we also want to help. It became evident, that there is often no transparency about how to act in the case of a violent incident.”

The European Parliament has adopted a report on the need for an EU strategy to end and prevent the gender pension gap. The report reaffirms the importance of investment in education to enable especially women to stay longer in the labour market which would have positive effects on their pensions. With this report, the European Parliament calls on the European Commission and the EU Member States to tackle inequalities and discrimination in the labour market, in particular through education and empowerment of girls and women to enter sections of the labour market that are currently dominated by men.

On 18 May, the ETUCE Bureau adopted a statement as a contribution to the Public consultation on Revision of Key Competences . From ETUCE’s perspective, challenges remain regarding the design and application of the Key Competences Framework. One of the obstacles to implementation is the lack of a clear audience of the Key Competences Framework: who is the target group (national governments, policy makers, school heads, teachers or any other actors of the education sector)?

Today, 30 May 2017, ETUCE is hosting a Conference titled: ‘Education in Europe: Public Investment, Privatisation and Reforms – What role do education trade unions play?’, in Brussels. The one-day event marks the culmination of the ETUCE-led project ‘Investing in Education: Strengthening the involvement of teacher trade unions in the European Semester on Education and Training’ that was carried out from 2015 to 2017. With this conference, ETUCE brings together around a hundred participants from ETUCE member organisations from across Europe, social partners, the European Commission, as well as other stakeholders.

On 11 May 2017, the Council of Europe adopted a decision on signing the Istanbul Convention, international Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. The Istanbul Convention was presented by the Council of Europe in 2011 and recognised violence against women as a human rights violation. It criminalises the various forms of violence against women and domestic violence and focuses on measures of preventing violence, protecting and supporting victims and witnesses, and prosecuting the perpetrators.

Following the request of the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU to provide a research background for Council Conclusions on enhancing the skills of women and men in the EU labour market, the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) released a new report ‘Gender, skills and precarious work in the EU’. The report presents the labour market challenges faced by European women and men with low qualifications and explores the potential for upscaling skills and improvement of identification and validation of skills.