At its meeting of 11-12 September 2017, the ETUCE Standing Committee for Higher Education and Research (HERSC) issued a support letter to Eğitim Sen’s members, Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça. Expressing the great concern about their critical health condition, HERSC members strongly supported their colleagues’ action aiming at reinstating all education personnel dismissed, suspended or imprisoned without ground of evidence in their duties.

Enhancement of the status and recognition of teaching in higher education, as well as the role of Higher Education and Research in supporting refugees and migrants and promoting democratic citizenship were at the centre of discussion at the meeting of the ETUCE Higher Education and Research Standing Committee (HERSC). The biannual meeting took place in Brussels on 11-12 September and was attended by more than 30 delegates representing 23 European countries.

On 7 September 2017, ETUCE together with one of its member organisations in Belgium, Centrale Générale des Services Publics Enseignement, FGTB-CGSP, expressed their solidarity with Eğitim Sen’s members, Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça, who have been on hunger strike since 9 March 2017.

On 4 September 2017, the new school year started in Poland. 2017 is the year in which the reform of the education system comes into force. This is the reform that was widely criticised by the major educational communities. The government ignored protests organised in various forms throughout the preceding year, and the Polish Parliament rejected a motion for a referendum on the reform, which had been signed by nearly one million citizens. In reaction to this, on 4 September, a rally was organised by parents, teachers and representatives of organisations active in education.

Yesterday, on 4 September 2017, the Teachers’ Union of Serbia, TUS, organised a warning strike in more than 650 elementary and secondary schools in Serbia. With that action, the union demanded to: raise salaries in the education sector to a level above the country’s official average salary;withdraw the Law on Employees in the public services, as well as the Law on the Basics of Education, since many regulations infringe the rights of employees in the education sector.

ETUCE, the official campaign partner of EU-OSHA, the European Agency for Occupational Health and Safety, also celebrates the 20th anniversary of the EU-OSHA NAPO, the animated character of EU-OSHA, who promotes and disseminates OSH quality information all over Europe in a didactic way.