Spring meeting of the ETUCE Committee


On 20-21 March 2023, the members of the ETUCE Committee gathered in Brussels for the spring ETUCE Committee meeting. They adopted the ETUCE Position on ChatGPT and other generative AI and set the priorities for the coming months including the launch of the ETUCE Campaign on the attractiveness of the teaching profession on 15 May 2023.

ETUCE President Larry Flanagan opened the meeting highlighting member organisations` perseverance at the negotiating tables at national level and their actions across Europe demanding governments to address the cost-of-living crisis affecting teachers and other education personnel, and to raise public awareness on teacher shortages in the various constituencies. The ETUCE Committee welcomed the new representative on the Cyprus country seat, Ms Mary Mahera, from OLTEK.

One of the main points on the agenda was the presentation by Howard Stevenson, Nottingham University, on the research paper from the joint European Social Partner project on the attractiveness of the teaching profession. Research findings and the input gained from the ETUCE Committee members, will be fed into the ETUCE campaign.

The Committee members received an extensive overview of the latest on EU Education and Training developments, including the priorities of the Swedish Presidency, the European Education Area, the Erasmus+ programme and the European Year of Skills with special regard to Higher Education and Research, inviting them toto participate in the preparation towards the Tirana Ministerial Conference on the Bologna Process. On the European sectoral social dialogue, the Committee members discussed the proposals of the European Commission for the revision of the processes in light of serious budget cuts and learnt about the developments on the cross-sectoral negotiations on the EU agreement for teleworking and the right to disconnect. Representatives were given input on EU-level plans to create legal instruments in order to contain usage of AI and technological development such as ChatGPT in the education sector. The members of the Committee debated the impact of the use of artificial intelligence, such as ChatGPT in education and the creation of EU legal instruments to contain its use, sharingtheir convictions that social contacts between human beings are essential in education. The ETUCE Position on ChatGPT and other generative AI was adopted.

The Committee members expressed their continued solidarity with colleagues in Ukraine and noted with appreciation the efforts made by ETUCE to monitor the situation in the countries providing for the largest number of refugees. Committee members bore witness to ETUCE European Director Susan Flocken`s accounts of two solidarity missions carried out by ETUCE leaders to the region and an overview of the substantial financial support made available through the solidarity fund managed by EI, to which ETUCE members have also made generous donations. She went on to give an account of the Status of Women Committee meeting which took place the same day to prepare the ETUCE Committee from a gender and women trade unionist perspective.

The next ETUCE Committee meeting is scheduled to take place on 16-17 November 2023 in Brussels.