Last week’s 2-hour warning strike by teachers and other education personnel in Lithuania has brought a swift resolution to their dispute. The government has now promised to implement the €117m budget increase for education which they agreed to in 2017. ETUCE welcomes this victory for social dialogue and education trade unions’ agenda-setting power.

3 December is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which aims to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disabilities and celebrate their achievements and contributions. This year’s theme “Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership: taking action on the 2030 Development Agenda” is all about empowerment. Education trade unions are committed to the professional development and support of education personnel so that they can deliver inclusive education and address the needs of students with disabilities.

Education unions in Albania are looking to the future in a training programme for regional trade union leaders. With a particular focus on engaging women and young teachers, this two-day seminar introduced 25 participants to leadership theories and helped them develop their negotiation and communication skills. ETUCE and Norway’s Utdanningsforbundet joined the seminar by video link.

Education trade unions face an ageing membership and potential decline in affiliation among younger and underrepresented groups. We need to regather our strength by increasing the activist base and members’ involvement in union structures and activities. ETUCE’s project on trade union renewal, YOUR TURN!, brings education trade unions together to explore the meaning and practice of a revitalised movement. This week in Rome, union representatives from nine countries across southern Europe showed that there is real hope with their clear analysis and practical examples of how we can transform trade unions for a changing world.

LŠMPS is calling a two-hour warning strike tomorrow, in response to the government’s decision to overturn a collective agreement on increased education funding and teacher salaries. Lithuania’s Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport pledged to allocate an additional €117 million next year but the proposed 2020 budget earmarks only €55.5 million in extra funding: a shortfall of €61.5 million. ETUCE supports education personnel in Lithuania demanding respect for social dialogue and collective agreements.

Nearly 5000 members and supporters of Eğitim Sen gathered in Ankara, Turkey, on 23 November. Eğitim Sen had called academics, teachers and other education personnel to the open air meeting under the slogan “For our rights, future and our students’ right to education”.