ETUCE Committee – Preparing the ETUCE Special Conference


On 13 to 14 October 2014, the members of the ETUCE Committee met in Brussels for their autumn meeting. With a minute's silence the Committee commemorated the deceased colleagues and fellow unionists, Veronica Rodriguez, ATL, UK and Agnes Breda, UNSA-Education, France, and staff member of the EI head office in Brussels, whose engagement for education and the teacher union movement outlasts their departure. Resuming the meeting, the ETUCE President, welcomed the new ETUCE Committee members Helen Van den Berg, CNVO, replacing Cees Kuiper, for the country seat of The Netherlands and Kamuran Karaca, Egitem-Sen, replacing Mehmet Bozgeyik for the country seat of Turkey.

In preparation of the ETUCE Special Conference in Vienna on 26 – 27 November 2014, the Committee members took the decision to submit the Resolution Shaping the Teaching Profession of the 21st Century for adoption to the ETUCE Special Conference. It also decided on establishing an EI/ETUCE Central and Eastern European Network (CEENET) for a 2 year trial period, in accordance with the By-Laws Art. 9.2 (IV) and to recommend to the EI Executive Board that it moves Kazakhstan, Kirgistan and Tajikistan form the EI Asia-Pacific Region to the European Region-ETUCE. The ETUCE Committee deems the set-up of an administrative and practical network necessary in order to promote better cooperation between the CEE countries and especially the Russian-speaking countries. This network is to ensure better opportunities for participation and access to resources as well as to facilitate enhanced activity and participation with EI/ETUCE. The ETUCE Secretariat is to support the network establishment with the extended use and provision of services in Russian, e.g. more extensive translation of meeting documents and the provision of the ETUCE website and newsletter in Russian. The launch of the CEENET is foreseen on 25 November 2014, in the frame of the ETUCE Special Conference.

In the wake, Vice-president, Branimir Strukelj, initiated a discussion on the membership fee calculation and payment to EI. As the payment of dues underlies the decision of EI Congress, the topic has been postponed to the Congress meeting in July 2015 in Ottawa.

Continuing on financial issues, the ETUCE Committee approved the ETUCE Action Plan on European Economic Governance (European Semester), which foresees to increase teacher union's impact and visibility in the European Semester process. In order to ensure a timely exchange between the ETUCE member organisations and the ETUCE Secretariat on country specific recommendations from the European Commission in the field of education, the ETUCE member organisations are invited to designate a contact person to the ETUCE Secretariat on this issue.

From the Standing Committees for Higher Education and Research and for Equality, the Committee members adopted the Appeal from the European Higher Education and Research Unions to Defend Europe's Scientific, Humanities and Academic Potential and the Recommendations on Mainstreaming Diversity and Tackling Inequalities. It also adopted the Practical Guidelines for Teacher Unions for the Further Implementation and Reinforcement of Teacher Union Actions on Gender Equality in Times of Austerity, which call on member organisations to strengthen their actions on gender equality as a common goal for both women and men, also in times of economic crisis.