Ukraine: large-scale attack on workers' and trade union rights continues

Copyright: Trade Union of Education and Science workers of Ukraine

The mobilisation of Ukrainian trade unions and the massive solidarity support from the international trade union movement in the years 2019 and2020, have suceeded in the postponement and rejection of  draft laws that went against workers’ rights and had foreseen to liberalise labour legislation and restrict trade union rights as well as their participation in social dialogue at all levels .

However, in November 2020, the Ukranian Government, taking advantage of quarantine restrictions on mass gatherings and public events, resumed the promotion of a number of draft laws with the same liberal norms discriminating workers’ and trade union rights.

Once again the onslaught on workers’ rights forced Ukrainian trade unions to mobilise and take to the street. On 2-3 December 2020, national trade unions picket the Verkhovna Rada, the Supreme Council, of Ukraine.

The trade unions demand to withdraw the draft laws that undermine social and trade union rights, from the Parliament and to provide for additional funding of education, science, health care, defense and aircraft construction and other sectors in the State Budget 2021.

The Trade Union of Education and Science Workers of Ukraine has put forward its own demands to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine addressing the problems of education and science:

  • Ensure funding of the education sector of not less than 7% of GDP, as provided by Article 78 of the Law of Ukraine on Education
  • Approve a new salary scheme of education workers developed according to the Article 61 of the Law of Ukraine on Education applying a coefficient of 1.5 from 1 January 2021 as agreed with the trade unions.
  • Provide for full governmental subvention to local budgets based on the number of classes, not students. Not to cut the education financing while reviewing the draft State Budget between first and second readings.
  • Provide local budgets with an additional education subvention in 2021 to maintain education institutions
  • Introduce a state health insurance for teachers for COVID-19
  • Provide for the possibility to use the State COVID-19 Fund to finance the needs of education institutions.
  • Maintain reduced transport fees for students and pupils.
  • Prevent the interference of public authorities in the statutory activities of trade unions.

ETUCE is closely monitoring the developments of those requests and stands in solidarity with the teachers of Ukraine.