As it was reported earlier, the University and College Union, UCU, one of the ETUCE member organisations in the United Kingdom, is at the centre of the fight against the end of guaranteed pension benefits in the British higher education sector. Following the first phase of UCU’s strike action, the education trade union has managed to force the university employers association to agree to negotiations through the national arbitration and conciliation body (ACAS).

On 28 February 2018, the University of Helsinki was closed for the second time over the last 100 years as reported by the Opetusalan Ammattijärjest (OAJ), one of the ETUCE member organisations in Finland. Hundreds of higher education personnel shown their discontent with the employer party’s rejection over the proposed conciliation solution by the National Conciliator’s Office at the University of Helsinki on 28 February 2018. As a matter of fact, the Finish university sector has been without a collective agreement since the beginning of February 2018.

ETUCE is concerned about the increasing interest of the European Commission’s in involving private companies and ICT businesses in the financing of vesting of digital education, as regards the introduction and development to robots and cutting-edge tools to use and experiment in schools.

Higher expectations in terms of student outcomes and greater pressures due to a more diverse student population combined with rapid technological innovation are having a profound impact on the teaching profession.  The new report of Eurydice entitled Teaching Careers in Europe: Access, Progression and Support  illustrates national differences in Europe on how to become a teacher, recruitment and employment conditions, as well as prospects for professional development and support. The report also analyses the roles and functioning of teacher appraisal.

Today, on 22 February 2018, the University and College Union, UCU, one of the ETUCE member organisations in the United Kingdom, is launching a series of strikes to safeguard guaranteed pension benefits of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS). “Staff, who have delivered the international excellence, universities boast of are understandably angry at efforts to slash their pensions. They feel let down by vice-chancellors who seem to care more about defending their own pay and perks than the rights of their staff.

Equality experts from ETUCE Member Organisation’s from 27 countries met in Brussels on 19-20 February 2018 for this year’s Standing Committee for Equality, under the theme of “Looking forward: Education and equality”. The Committee for Equality acts as an advisory body for the ETUCE Committee and meets once a year to exchange ideas and experiences on promotion of equal opportunities in education. This year, the meeting also served as an opportunity to prepare a Resolution on Setting the priorities to develop the ETUCE Action Plan for Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion which is to be presented to the ETUCE Committee for its approval to be submitted to the upcoming ETUCE Special Conference in November.