Getting Stronger Together: Trade Union Renewal in Education (2024)


On 6 March 2024, ETUCE organised the webinar open to its member organisations “Getting stronger together: trade union renewal in education”, with the support of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. This webinar builds on the experience of the past ETUCE project “Your Turn!” that produced the Handbook for Critical Reflection and the ETUCE Action Plan to help and support national trade unions in education to organise and renew their own organisations by differentiating their strategies and focussing on membership growth, thus recruiting and retaining affiliates in the unions.  

This webinar was the opportunity to present the newly produced research report on renewal in education trade unions, conducted by the experts, Howard Stevenson (University of Nottingham) and Alison Milner (Aalborg University). The report comes as the result of an extensive survey participated by a high number of national trade unions and it focusses on three main strands: building workplace organisation and leadership, developing future leaders through education and training, and strengthening democratic engagement through organisational change.  

The report also includes three case studies that were presented during the webinar by representatives of the national unions: Alexandra Cornea (FSLI, Romania), Odile Cordelier and Julien Farges (SNES-FSU, France), and Cecilia Warnholtz (Sveriges Lärare, Sweden). This round table with education trade unions showed, with practical examples, the importance of making trade unions grow close to the workers, accommodating their needs and requests within their way of working. For instance, meaningful cases demonstrated how effective can be to democratise and delocalise the training to new union members to better include them in the everyday functioning of the union and make them feel more ownership on the organisation.  

Trade union renewal remains a long-term and continuous process that engages ETUCE member organisations in a constant action of rethinking and adapting their own work to changing labour conditions. The research report is now publicly available and ETUCE will keep engaging to support education trade unions in renewal with future actions, such as the “Your Turn 2” project that will be launched in the coming weeks.