2020 ETUCE Conference – Day 2


Day 2 of the Conference was largely devoted to introducing the Work Programme, as well as addressing internal matters concerning finances, budgets and elections of members of the new Committee.

Guest speaker Dr. Stefanie Hubig, President of the Standing Conference of Ministers of Education in Germany, opened the day by stating her support to teachers and trainers and to the work ETUCE has been doing during the last months, in the difficult context of the global pandemic. She indicated: “Without education there is no progress and no development at all. Education is important for a Europe based on democracy.”

Susan Flocken, European Director gave a powerful speech introducing the Work Programme for the coming quadrennium. “The future matters, our future matters. It has become clear how much our society and quality education rely on good teachers. The recognition of the teaching profession hasn’t been so high in years!  Together, in ETUCE we want to propose solutions and actively engage in finding ways to address the challenges ahead of us in the respective social dialogue systems at national and European level. Let’s contribute to shaping the world of tomorrow for a social Europe built on fairness, democracy and equality.”

In the general debate and adoption of the ETUCE Work Programme Trudy Kerperien from AOb Netherlands and ETUCE Vice-President, seconded the Work Programme and declared that a very important field of work was economic governance and trade agreements. She mentioned that she was happy to see that trade union renewal was a concrete part of the Work Programme, because giving a voice to education trade union members, young and old, is crucial.

Rob Copeland from UCU UK and Chair of ETUCE Higher Education and Research Standing Committee (HERSC), focused his speech on the higher education and research (HER) part of the Work Programme. He insisted on the need for a proper sustainable investment in the field of HER, as well as the need of a supportive environment for all HER staff, mainly in terms of digitalisation, training, workload and intellectual property.

Rossella Benedetti from UIL-Scuola Italy and Chair of ETUCE Standing Committee for Equality highlighted and presented the work programme part on Equality issues calling on the need for more public investment in education in order to ensure equal access to quality education.

Further contributions called for support of teachers with different cultural descent, pointing at the Black teachers lives matter” movement in the UK and the rest of Europe. A call to evaluate the impact of the pandemic on education and the lessons learnt therefrom was also made.

Following the adoption of amendments to the By-Laws and the appointment of ETUCE internal and external auditors, ETUCE treasurer, Mike Jennings, presented the budget for 2021 – 2024. On the announcement of the newly elected Committee members, the European Director thanked the colleagues who had been engaged in the past years, in particular Christine Blower, NEU UK in her function as ETUCE President, Gitta Franke-Zöllmer, VBE Germany in her function as President of the Status of Women Committee and Mike Jennings, IFUT Ireland as ETUCE Treasurer.

Thanking colleagues and delegates for their long-standing cooperation the chair adjourned the meeting.

In the subsequent first meeting of the newly elected ETUCE Committee members, under Larry Flanagan, newly elected ETUCE President, Joan Donegan, General Secretary at IFUT Ireland, was appointed  ETUCE Treasurer for the upcoming mandate.