News

On 17 October 2014 ETUCE, held its 5th Round Table meeting in Podgorica within the project Promoting the potentials of the European sectoral social dialogue in education by addressing new challenges and exploring experience and knowledge. The meeting was attended by the Montenegrin Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, the Deputy Minister of Education, the President of EFEE, and representatives from the Montenegrin Trade Union of Education including its president and vice president.

On 22 October 2014, four trade unions in Serbia organized a one day strike in many schools across the country following a series of protest actions during the entire month of October.  More than 3.000 teachers participated in the action, demanding among other things to exclude education from the announced salary cuts. According to the Teachers Union of Serbia (TUS), one of ETUCE's member organisation in Serbia, the material situation in education has increasingly worsened since 2008 and the average salary has already been lower than the average salary of all employees in Serbia.

On 13 October 2014, the ETUCE Committee unanimously adopted the ETUCE Statement on Investment Protection in EU Investment Agreements.  The Statement clearly conveys that the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) is a flawed mechanism, which is contradictory to and limiting on the right to regulate. The ISDS mechanism has consequences in all areas of democratic decision-making, but specific concerns are raised in respect to the education sector.

Members of the European Policy Network on School Leadership (EPNoSL) network met in Nice on 25 -26 September 2014 to discuss the implementation of priorities for the development of school leadership to validate reflection tools for school leadership policy design and to share good practices. The meeting gathered teacher trade unions, experts on school leadership, ministries' representatives, employers' organisations, school principals and head teachers as well as teacher educators.

This year's edition of the annual Eurydice report on teachers' and school heads' salaries and allowances shows that about half of the 33 surveyed European countries have applied salary cuts or salary freezes for public employees during the period 2009-2014. In these countries, teachers' purchasing power in 2014 is still below the 2009 level. Furthermore, the report finds that the basic salaries for new teachers in primary and lower secondary education are lower than GDP per capita in around 75% of the countries investigated.

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.