ETUCE Committee: preparation of the 2020 ETUCE Conference


On 12-13 October 2020, the members of the ETUCE Committee met online for their autumn meeting, the last Committee meeting of this term of office. ETUCE President, Christine Blower being excused, ETUCE Vice-Presidents Dorte Lange and Trudy Kerperien chaired the meeting. Dorte Lange welcomed the country representatives and asked for a minute of silence in remembrance of former ETUCE Vice President Jean-Marie Maillard from SNES, France and ETUCE Committee member from TUEM, Montenegro, President Zvonko Pavicevic who had recently passed away.

High on the agenda was the preparation of the 2020 ETUCE Conference on 1-2 December 2020 and pre-conference events which will be held online due to the exceptional circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Committee members received practical information regarding the conference organisation and were given the opportunity to test the online voting and election system which will be used both to adopt documents and to run the elections of country seats’ representatives to the ETUCE Committee. The representatives also received the ETUCE Activity Report and the ETUCE Conference Background document which will serve to feed the debate during the Conference. The Committee members gave their approval to submit the 2021-2024 draft ETUCE Work programme and 2021-2024 draft budget to the December Conference. Also, the venue of the 2021 Extraordinary ETUCE Conference in Liège, Belgium, was presented.

The ETUCE Committee members then had the opportunity to share and discuss their experiences, challenges and vision for education trade unions in relation to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A statement is in preparation by the ETUCE secretariat following this discussion and the ones held at a dedicated series of ETUCE webinar for member organisations the week before.

Among the issues on the agenda for discussion and decision, featured the ETUCE position on European Skills Agenda package as well as the ETUCE Contribution to the Public Consultation on the integration and inclusion of migrants and people with a migrant background. The Committee members adopted both position papers.

On the second day of the meeting, another important policy document,  the draft proposal for an ETUCE Action Plan on Organising and Renewal, featured at the centre of a lively discussion among the Committee members, resulting in the adoption of this key document by the ETUCE Committee.

Among the solidarity issues on the agenda, ETUCE European Director, Susan Flocken specifically reported on the situation in Belarus, updating the Committee members on the latest developments and pointing to the already issued ETUCE Statement that calls for and end of violence against the peaceful protesters and for a democratic approach based on free and transparent elections. Susan Flocken also reported on the recent rise of armed conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan which had a huge impact on civilians, families, teachers and students alike. The ETUCE Committee adopted a peace statement on this situation, calling on the country’s authorities to find a peaceful solution based on dialogue.