2016 ETUCE Conference – Day 2


Day 2 of the conference was largely devoted to addressing a number of Resolutions as well as internal matters concerning finances, dues, budgets and elections of office-bearers and members of the new Committee.

Perhaps the most passionate and keenly debated Resolution concerned the situation in Turkey. Prior to the debate, delegates heard a presentation by telephone link by the General Secretary of the Turkish affiliate, Egitim-Sen, Kamuran Karaca. He described in considerable detail the oppressive measures taken against so many public servants after the failed coup attempt. He highlighted the impact on staff, education institutions, and indeed children being denied education in their mother tongue.

A wide range of delegates contributed to the discussion from a variety of perspectives. There was unanimous condemnation of the actions of the Turkish authorities and strong criticism of much of the European response, described by one delegate as “accomplices” who had abandoned principles in exchange for Turkey slowing the flow into Europe of migrants and refugees. The Resolution was unanimously adopted and committed organisations to support  colleagues in Turkey in all ways possible and to pressure national governments to intervene against the Turkish government’s oppressive actions.

Conference adopted a Resolution on reinforcing the place of equalities in education and unions. The continued focus on economic matters was rolling back progress on a range of equalities strands,as was developing extremism and demonisation of minorities. The resolution sought to affirm unions’ obligations, both in internal and external activities, to keep a focus on equalities issues.

A Resolution on the need to renew and refresh the teaching profession and other education personnel was carried. Debate centred on the idea that means be found to adjust the work of older staff, partly to create space for new entrants. For some countries the problem was different, there being too few experienced staff. It was agreed any arrangements should incorporate the voluntary principle for all staff.

Delegates supported a Resolution critical of the growing trend towards privatisation and commercialisation of education across all sectors of education. Attention was drawn to the covert as well as more overt moves in this direction. It was argued that enhancing the private sector undermined public education and promoted inequality. Moreover, there was no evidence that private input brought better outcomes.

Conference backed a Resolution on Education for Democracy. Growing extremism and radicalisation pointed up a need for stronger civic education and promotion of active citizenship.

A Resolution on continuing to work on Early Childhood Education was remitted to the ETUCE Committee.

The final Resolution of the conference addressed the need for social dialogue and collective bargaining in European  Schools established for children of employees of the Commission and other EU institutions. Attention was drawn to the different treatment of locally hired staff as opposed to seconded staff.

The European Director thanked Serbian colleagues for their assistance in making local arrangements. He thanked staff for support over the years and made reference to the work of committee members and member organisations. The conference confirmed the consensus among organisations on European work.

Adopted documents and Elections results