Trade Union Leaders for Tajikistan


Our Central Asian Consortium Project in Tajikistan brings together Иттифоки Касабаи Маориф (TUESWRT) and Sweden’s Lärarförbundet to train a new generation of teacher activists. TUESWRT, Lärarförbundet and ETUCE are working together to train grassroots trade union leaders in Tajikistan. The project’s mid-term conference gave us two days of dynamic and interactive discussions, and the project partners are energised for the next phase!

At the opening session all partners praised the successful international cooperation so far, committing to build on this solidarity. Ramazon Odinaev of TUESWRT Robert Gustafsson of Lärarförbundet and ETUCE’s European Director Susan Flocken all participated to explore the next steps for ‘Trade Union Leaders For Tajikstan’ and our cooperation in Central Asia.

On the second day participants took part in Swedish-style study circles. Lärarförbundet introduced this method, based on small guided self-help groups, calling them the most effective way to empower members, leaders and unions. Participants explored key topics for trade union leaders such as teachers’ salaries, working hours and benefits for young teachers. Hearing the voice of grassroots teacher activists, we cannot wait to see them grow as trade union leaders.

Trade Union Leaders for Tajikstan

Ramazon Odinaev, the President of TUESWRT, told us what he thinks trade unions leadership is all about. “I believe that trade union leaders exist at every level, from head office to the union reps in every school, and they all need the skills to lead. The strength of this course is that it both updates the knowledge of experienced union leaders and prepares newly joined union activists – including youth. This enhances the presentation and legal literacy of all union members. We need this, because a good union leader is a secure, active future for the union!”

Zulhiya Nozakova, TUESWRT Head of International Department, tells us that she “witnessed a very gratifying conversation while riding the bus. I overheard one teacher complaining to another that she did not receive vacation pay and that her school was infringing on her rights. The second teacher was a participant in our seminars, and she advised her colleague to contact TUESWRT for support. In fact, she said of course we can help! This small story shows what we can achieve: protecting teachers’ interests, building trust with them and improving the image of TUESWRT!”

Susan Flocken, ETUCE European Director, commented: “Strengthening the capacity of education trade unions to represent the interests of their members at all times and to build a true and effective social dialogue is at the core of ETUCE. If trade unions are stronger at national, regional and school level and able to fight for teachers’ rights and quality working environment in schools, then ETUCE is also stronger. It all starts with being aware of your rights as a teacher and the support your union provides you. This is what this project is about, because together we can make a change!”