On 23 March 2017, German teachers will gather in the course of the book fair in Leipzig and discuss “School in Change – new approaches and successful methods”. The organisers, the German education trade union VBE in cooperation with other unions, expect about 800 participants. During the day, there will be several presentations and events covering all levels of education and all types of school. For instance, an event on working with refugee children is planned, as well as on protection of digital data.

On 20 March 2017, the German education trade union VBE and the German occupational union of doctors specialised in children and adolescents (BVKJ) gave a press conference on their demand to introduce medical personnel in schools. As chronic as well as severe illnesses, such as Diabetes, allergies or cancer, among children and adolescents increase, pupils are in need of medical attention during their time at school. There is no federal law regulating the dissemination of medication in schools.

Gender equality experts from ETUCE member organisations assembled on 20-21 March 2017 in Brussels for this years’ Standing Committee for Equality. Meeting once a year, this consultative body to the ETUCE Committee exchanges ideas and experiences on how to support affiliates to sustainably promote equal opportunities in Europe. At this Standing Committee for Equality, members had the opportunity to exchange good practices and views on How to secure diversity in Education. Member organisations discussed and proposed recommendations for the implementation of the 2016 ETUCE Conference Resolution(s) on Equality that were adopted in December 2016.

The Latvian Trade Union of Education and Science Employees (LIZDA), ETUCE’s member organisation in Latvia, reported that the Ministry of Education and Science of Latvia took the decision to reorganise the Riga Teacher and Education Academy (RPIVA) by merging it with the University of Latvia by the end of August 2017 without any prior consultation with education social partners. LIZDA considers the Latvian authorities’ action aimed at liquidating the RPIVA with its eight branches all over the country not beneficial for education personnel nor for students in Latvia. The Ministry justifies its decision by claiming that it chose the best option in order to focus financial resources on the improvement of education personnel’s education and training in Latvia.

The Free Trade Union Federation in Education, FSLE, one of ETUCE’s member organisations in Romania, reported great concerns about spillover and disruptive effects of the 21 legislative decrees adopted by the Turkish government on the Turkish education personnel regardless of their place of residence.

The Independent Union of Research and Higher Education Employees of Croatia, IURHEEC, one of ETUCE’s member organisations in Croatia, reported that with the signing of the temporary collective agreement for public services employees, trade unions, including the Croatian Teachers' Union, CTU, and the Independent Trade Union of Workers in Secondary Education of Croatia, ITUWEC, ETUCE’s member organisations, gained some breathing room to negotiate a quality collective agreement. The signing of the temporary agreement took place last Thursday, 9 March 2017, following a two-month break and a serious dispute between the Croatian government and trade unions, among which three are member organisations of ETUCE.