Back to School: ETUCE Member organisations hold sub-regional talks on education trade union work under the COVID-19


In the autumn of 2020, education trade unions are faced with persisting challenges to ensure the education sector and its personnel recover from the COVID-19 crisis. ETUCE Committee members and member organisation leaders joined in sub-regional high-level talks to exchange views and share experiences on the impact of the pandemic on teachers and education unions.

The immersion of digital technologies in education is a topic that far predates the pandemic. Yet, the forced and sudden closure of school across Europe pressed forward this digital shift by decades. This shift allowed for education continuity though it also created new challenges that education trade unions across Europe are now endeavouring to tackle. This digital shift created new threats to the equal access to education, reinforced the digital gap among teachers or students and its consequences, opened the way for private companies to influence education systems, and generated still more concerns over privacy and data protection.

As union leaders exchanged on their experiences, the crucial role of social dialogue became, once more, evident. Only when social partners are consulted on equal footing and on a regular basis can policies be tailored to the needs of the profession and the students. This is ever more pressing as most countries enter or have entered a second wave of infections and many schools are closing. Allowing for education to continue, with as much physical teaching presence as possible, all while protecting the rights and health of education personnel, requires that governments consider the voice of workers and their unions.

ETUCE continues to stand by its member organisations – education personnel and their unions – as they work tirelessly to make the education sector recover from this crisis and guarantee healthy, safe, and inclusive learning environments.

Read our report on the event here.  

Read the full ETUCE statement The Road to Recovery from the COVID-19 Crisis.