Good Labour Day to all, across Europe, in solidarity and peace!


On the 1st of May ETUCE celebrates the achievements of all workers in education and training: this has been another tough year for teachers, school leaders, and education personnel throughout the long months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today ETUCE thanks all of them as well as their unions for their constant engagement and commitment to provide quality and inclusive education.

The ongoing war in Ukraine is now impacting the whole of Europe, with high consequences on our societies and economics. Right in the aftermath of the invasion by the Russian army, we expressed our solidarity to Ukrainian people in the joint EI-ETUCE Statement on Ukraine. We defend the rights of all people of Ukraine to have a future free of violence and war, and we stand by the Ukrainian teachers, school leaders, and other education personnel.

This event reminds us of the important role of the education trade unions in promoting peace, democracy, human rights, decent working conditions, and safe and healthy working environments. Teachers and unions in Europe have shown unprecedented solidarity in welcoming all people fleeing Ukraine and other countries regardless of nationality, race, ethnicity, religion, or political background. European education trade unions are committed to ensure that migrant children and young people can access quality and inclusive education, and receive all the necessary support in response to their needs.

We believe that quality education remains crucial for the existence of democratic and open societies and we stress how education personnel has been tirelessly working in  difficult conditions to ensure a better future for all. It is thus essential to implement strong social dialogue between education trade unions, workers, governments and employers as well as establishing strong alliances with  families and society as a whole. We continue defending the rights of teachers, school leaders, and education personnel to work in a safe, equitable, and non-discriminatory environment.

ETUCE and its member organisations therefore consider more than ever urgent to support publicly funded quality and inclusive education – including through funding opportunities provided in the framework of the Recovery and Resilience Plans – in agreement with national and European trade unions, who know best the priorities and the needs of education workers and students. The concerning trend towards privatisation and commercialisation of education increases precarious working conditions, thus strongly affecting the quality of public education.

On the contrary, it is is fundamental to societal and economic recovery that an attractive teaching profession together with professional autonomy, ethics and freedom are valued, acknowledged and promoted through meaningful social dialogue, collective bargaining, and public investment. Quality and inclusive education is key to form critical-thinking and active citizens, and to ensure that no one is left behind in these turbulent times.

Good Labour Day to all, across Europe, in solidarity and peace!