ETUCE/FES webinar: Education Trade Unions and Young Members


In cooperation with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) ETUCE organised its first workshop on “Education Trade Unions and Young Members”, on 17 September 2020.

Mapping trade union practices regarding young members and novice teachers, the webinar outlined the results gathered from member organisations to the ETUCE survey on Education Trade Unions and Youth and provided a platform for participants to exchange information on good practices of whether and how ETUCE affiliates work with and/or organise their young members.

Moa Asperö Lind​, Lärarförbundet colleague working in a team with organisational development together with Maria Guthke​,President of the student organisation​, talked about “Teachers Lead” a programme to, among other things, support young teachers to engage actively in teaching and in shaping the future of Lärarförbundet. They also presented the “Network for new teachers” - an initiative of three novice teachers who want to continue their active participation in Lärarförbundet by creating a platform that responds to the needs of teachers at the beginning of their teaching career​.

In her turn, Nathalie Schäfer, representative of the National Students Structure of GEW, explained structures and functioning of BASS, the Federal Committee of Students that is responsible for the content and conceptual work of representing the interests of students within and outside GEW and BA, the Federal Committee of young union members, that is responsible for the content and conceptual work of representing the interests of young members within and outside of GEW.

Dmitry Golubev, ESEUR Chief Specialist, explained that the work of the Russian education trade union and setting up the Council of young teachers had led, inter alia, to an increase of young trade unionists by 42 % in the period of 2015-2020. When talking about STEs Intersindical channels of reaching out young people, Beatriu Cardona i Prats, STEs Intersindical Women Organisation representative, said: “The lack of involvement in union life, among young people is due to several factors. One of the main problems we are facing is the general disaffection of young people towards trade unions. The bad press we have been given over the years takes its toll, to the extent that most young people do not consider trade union organisations as important or necessary to defend their labour rights. Trade unions across Europe have been undermined and stripped of bargaining power with neo-liberal legal reforms and face a lack of credibility in society”.

Ghenadie Donos, ESTUFM President, together with Alexandra Cornea Director of International Relationship of FSLI, talked about the joint programme "One Class Hour Over The Prut River"​ the aim of which is to facilitate the exchange of professional experience between teachers from the two organisations as an inspiration and example of international trade union cooperation.

This lively and fruitful first encounter of young members and members wishing to work on the issue of young members will be continued on 6 November 2020 with ETUCE trade union leaders in the frame of a workshop in the frame of the ETUCE Conference. Among topics of interest suggested for the discussion at the pre-Conference workshop, participants noted young members representation bodies and quotas, as well as the issue of organising students.

The webinar followed up on the ETUCE Resolution on Education Trade Unions and Youth, adopted at the ETUCE Conference in Athens, on 27-28 November 2018.