On 28 October 2014, the education social partners gathered in their final event of a series of six round table meetings within the current project of ETUCE, the trade union, which represents 11 million teachers and trainers in Europe. The project, entitled "The European Sectoral Social Dialogue in Education (ESSDE) - Promoting its potentials through strengthened capacities and knowledge at national level", was supported by DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission.

Martin Rømer, European Director of ETUCE, emphasised the importance of a stronger focus on social dialogue: "Strengthening the role of the social partners in education both at national and European level is an important step to find the right solutions to the difficult challenges that the sector faces. The current economic and social crisis impacts significantly on the education sector and social dialogue in the sector and  the problems increase."

During the project period, the social partners in education and training in Romania, Croatia, Slovenia, Lithuania, the Slovak Republic and Montenegro have discussed the need to further integrate the national social dialogue on education and training into the European Sectoral Social Dialogue in Education. The project participants also agreed  to engage in a more active promotion of the potentials of European and national social dialogue on education with the overall aim to improve the quality of education and training.

The participants at today's meeting have raised their concerns on challenges posed to the social dialogue in the Slovak Republic, the development of the teaching profession, the status of researchers in Europe,  and on provision of equal opportunities in education and training. They welcomed the presentation on The Current Trends in Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining in the Education Sector Since the Financial Crisis, based on a study of Education International, the global teacher unions' organisation, which highlighted the deteriorating working conditions of the teachers due to the economic crisis.

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