ETUCE Extraordinary Conference Day 2: Education Trade Unions adopt strategies to support the work of teachers in Europe


The second part of the ETUCE online Extraordinary Conference “For an Education-led Recovery”  took place this Tuesday 6th of July. It was the opportunity for delegates from ETUCE Member Organisations to discuss additional resolutions on artificial intelligence and climate change, as well as adopt important Action Plans to support the work of education trade unions’ work for the coming years.

The meeting started by an inspirational presentation on Education and Climate Change and the role of teachers in addressing this global challenge, by Ms Lučka Kajfež Bogataj, Professor at Ljubljana University and joint recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. “There is no vaccine for climate change”, she said. “Climate change is already here, and it will not go away. We need to act now. As teachers we should address the root causes of climate change, as well as the amplified inequalities caused by its effects. With the proper approach, we can have an impact. We can do more. We can do different. Each one of us.”

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Afterwards, the delegates discussed and adopted the resolution on “Artificial Intelligence in the Education Sector”. The resolution was presented by Dorte Lange, ETUCE Vice-President. “We must provide skills to students to understand and safely use artificial intelligence. We will work with education trade unions because together we can change the future, instead of letting the future shape us”, she declared.


The next important document to be adopted was the resolution “For a sustainable future of Europe: the role of education trade unions in Europe in addressing education and environment for social change”. This resolution raised many discussions as climate change is a topic close to education trade unions’ heart. Andreas Keller, ETUCE Vice President, introduced the resolution by saying “As education trade unions we should try to change the society to make it more sustainable. We are all in favour of climate literacy. This is a topic that should be taken up in the curriculum of all schools”.

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Afterwards the ETUCE Action Plan on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion as well as the ETUCE Action Plan on Trade Union Renewal were discussed and adopted. Rosella Benedetti, Chair of the Standing Committee for Equality presented the Action Plan on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion stating, “As education trade unions, we want to contribute to remove discrimination and make school a safe place for everyone”, while Galina Merkulova, ETUCE Vice-President, introduced the ETUCE Action Plan on Trade Union Renewal.

trade union organising

In the afternoon Howard Stevenson, from the University of Nottingham, gave an inspiring presentation on Trade Union Organising, that was highly praised by the participants. “Organising is what we do”, he said. “There will be no education-led recovery unless movements, depending on strong trade union organising, are created.”.

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Larry Flanagan, ETUCE President, closed the two days Conference by thanking the delegates for their contributions. “Despite the challenges of COVID-19, we have established a very good platform in order to take forward our objectives over the next period”, he stated.

Useful links:

All the information regarding the 2021 ETUCE Extraordinary Conference can be found here

The programme can be found here

All the Conference documents can be found here

The speakers’ list is here

Background document from the ETUCE 2020 Conference “Campaigning to Enhance the Teaching Profession for Solidarity, Democracy, Equality and Sustainability”.

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