On 19 to 20 March 2018, the members of the ETUCE Committee met in Brussels for their spring meeting. ETUCE President Christine Blower congratulated David Edwards on his appointment as EI  General Secretary by the Executive Board until the EI Congress 2019, praising Fred Van Leeuwen, Emeritus EI General Secretary for his work. Addressing the ETUCE Committee, David Edwards framed the shared vision for EI, in a world where complexity is increasing at a very fast pace, EI is even more committed “to analyse, realise, contextualise, strategise, communicate and mobilise”, he concluded. Christine Blower then welcomed new ETUCE Committee members Ilze Prizevoite, LIZDA, for the country seat of Latvia, Ronald Gangl, GÖD for the country seat of Austria replacing Helmut Skala, and Ghenadie Donos, ESTUFM, for the country seat of Moldova.

In the context of the EU-funded project “EU CONVINCE – EU Common Values Inclusive Education”, ETUCE as coordinating partner of the consortium with EFEE (European Federation of Education Employers) and ESHA (European School Heads Association) and requires 3 contractors providing an external and objective scientific perspective on research (i.e. researcher for an online survey); on online teacher training (i.e. MOOC-Massive Open Online Course); and on project impact assessment (i.e. evaluator) on Citizenship Education, Democracy, EU Common values and Inclusive Education.

The Education Department of the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) will organise a joint workshop with ETUCE on “Education trade unions promoting ICT for inclusive education”, which will be held from 25 to 27 April 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal. The overall aim is to exchange and disseminate ‘best practices’ on digital and ICT training for teachers from selected national educational programmes and to empower education trade unions to acknowledge and react to the impact of digitisation in the education sector from an inclusiveness standpoint.

ETUCE is leading a high-level international conference entitled “A better copyright  for quality higher education and research in Europe and beyond” organised in partnership with the European Federation of Education Employers (EFEE) and the COMMUNIA network of IP lawyers and activists in education. The conference will be bilingual in English and French and will take place in Brussels on 11 April 2018. The conference is co-financed by the European Intellectual Property Office, EUIPO.

On 14 March 2018, more than 90% of all public kindergartens, boarding schools and schools is to take part in the general strike which is planned to be organised by the Education, Science and Culture Trade Union of Slovenia (ESTUS), ETUCE member organisation in Slovenia. This time, according to ESTUS, the education institutions that did not vote for a strike initially will join this action. Teachers and education personnel from primary to higher education will participate in rallies in eleven districts across Slovenia.

On 14 March 2018,  primary education teachers from the North-West of the Netherlands will go on strike as reported by AOb. A big protest action is to take place in Amsterdam where a long and vociferous march is to be held through the heart of the old city centre. According to AOb, the Netherlands are heading towards a major and growing teacher shortage in primary education. The gravity of the problem became more evident during the flu period, when hundreds of schools had to send classes home, finding no teachers to replace sick colleagues.