ETUCE Committee: mobilising for quality public education


On 15-16 November 2021, the members of the ETUCE Committee met online and in Brussels for the autumn ETUCE Committee. The Committee members adopted important policy positions and prepared the next ETUCE Special Conference.

The ETUCE President, Larry Flanagan, opened the Committee meeting by welcoming the new representatives to the ETUCE Committee, Morgane Verviers, Deputy General Secretary of UNSA Education for France, Radomir Bozovic, Chairperson of TUEM for Montenegro, and Zulkhyia Nozakova, Chairwoman of TUESRT for Tajikistan.

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One of the main points on the agenda was the preparation of the upcoming ETUCE Special Conference of 5 and 6 July 2022, to be organised in presence in Liège (Belgium). The Committee members agreed on the theme for this mid-term conference: Trade union engagement and activity in Europe: mobilising for quality public education, for the benefit of students, and an improved status for teachers and all education personnel. At the July 2022 conference the Kounka Damianova award will be awarded for the second time in recognition of outstanding trade union work in the field of education and the promotion of equality. The call for applications will be issued in due course to ETUCE member organisations.

The findings of the ETUCE study on mandatory vaccination and the state of education in Europe were presented and discussed by the members of the Committee. The ETUCE study revealed that 51% of European countries impose mandatory requirements for teachers and education personnel to perform their work. While mandatory vaccination is already in place in 9 countries and under discussion in many others, trade unions are seriously concerned for the impact of these measures on working rights of teachers and education personnel.

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Regarding Education and training, the priorities of the Slovenian and French Presidency of the EU Council were presented which focus on topics such as new ways of learning and teaching, digital transformation, inclusion and education for sustainable development. Pointing out the 4th European Education Summit on 9 December 2021, crucial for the achievement of the European Education Area, the Committee members were reminded about the importance of participating in the European Commission’s public consultations and to use the ETUCE policy documents as a departing point in order to strengthen the input from the education trade unions. The nominated representatives who will be representing ETUCE in the European Commission’s working groups on education for the period 2021-2025 were also presented.

The ETUCE Committee adopted six crucial ETUCE position papers on the “EU Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at work”, the “Proposal for a Council Recommendation on Pathways to School Success”, the “Proposal for a Council Recommendation on Education for Environmental Sustainability”, “Fair working condition of researchers is key for the European Research Area”, the “European Universities Initiative and European Degrees” and the “Council recommendation on blended learning for high quality and inclusive primary and secondary education” and endorsed the Strategy for implementation of the ETUCE Action Plan on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

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The Committee launched the ETUCE communication strategy with a view to mobilise new members and making education trade unions’ messages heard. As part of this work, the ETUCE Secretariat will be developing a social media strategy, reviewing its website and accelerate the work of the ETUCE Communication Network in 2022.

Following the overview on Trade Union Renewal and on the implementation of the ETUCE Action Plan on Organising and Renewal, the ETUCE’s work on social dialogue was presented, with the European Sectoral Social Dialogue for Education focusing mainly on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on education personnel. The plenary meeting of the European social dialogue committee is confirmed for 15 December 2021.

The preliminary results of the ETUCE survey on the involvement of young members in education trade unions, as well as on the solidarity work implemented by ETUCE and its member organisations were also discussed. “We cannot underestimate how solidarity is an area where the efforts of all affiliates have a real impact when it comes to supporting colleagues in difficulty”, reminded Larry Flanagan.

The next ETUCE Committee meeting is scheduled to take place on 28 - 29 March 2022.

The pictures of the Committee can be found here.

The adopted documents can be found here: