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How can social partners contribute to ensuring quality, innovative and inclusive approaches to teaching and learning in higher education and research institutions? What are the main gaps and needs for the social partners to address in order to build their capacity for an effective collegial governance and social dialogue at all levels? Could an effective social dialogue enhance the rights and conditions of academic staff as well as, the quality of higher education across Europe? How far precarious, short-term, performance-based employment contracts and casualization of teachers and researchers in higher education affect educational opportunities for learners?

FENPROF, FNE and eight other Portuguese education trade unions joined the national strike in public administration on 14-15 February 2019. The strike represented a protest against the Portuguese Government's decision to recover only 2 years, 9 months and 18 days of the frozen service time for teachers. The decision was contested given that, due to regional autonomy over education legislation, full recovery of the frozen service time is ensured in the two Portuguese Autonomous Regions of Madeira and the Azores.

ETUCE initiates a public hearing entitled: “Shape the future of Europe with Teachers”, to be held in Brussels on 12 March 2019 from 14:00 to 16:00.The public hearing takes place in the premises of Thon Hotel Brussels City Centre (Meeting room Oslo), Avenue du Boulevard 17, 1210 Brussels. With growing nationalist and populist movements, and the tilt of politics in Europe to the far right, separatism and extremism are increasing in our society.

Education trade unions should include the gender dimension in all discussion in social dialogue concluded the participants of the second regional seminar of the ETUCE project Social dialogue and gender equality: Empowering education trade unions to address gender equality in the teaching profession through social dialogue, which took place in Vilnius on 25-26 February 2019.

In light of the upcoming Estonian parliamentary elections on 3 March 2019, the ETUCE member organisation, the Federation of the Estonian Universities, Institutions of Science, Research and Development (UNIVERSITAS), calls on the Estonian political parties to insert the Science and Higher Education sustainable development strategy on the agenda as an emergent demand.

The members of the ETUCE Standing Committee for Higher Education and Research (HERSC) meeting in Brussels on 21-22 February 2019 express their strong support with all ETUCE member organisations in France. HERSC backs the education trade unions’ demands to withdraw the French Governments’ plan to bring in higher tuition fees for students coming from countries outside the European Union to study in France.