Protest action in Ukraine against anti-social legislative initiatives


On 7 October 2021, on World Day for Decent Work, Ukrainian trade unions led by the Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine (FPU) organised a national protest action, in Kyiv, against the promotion of anti-social, anti-labour and anti-union legislative initiatives. The theme of the mobilisation was “Let’s protect our labour rights”.

Trade unions in Ukraine claim that workers’ interests and the assurance of decent work, salaries and quality jobs must be the main principles of government policy. However, the reforms initiated by the Ukrainian Government have not yet brought desired results in improving people's lives and well-being. The socio-economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has generated growing inequality and the spread of poverty in society.

Despite strong protests from national trade unions, the Ukrainian government is pushing the new reforms restricting workers’ rights and guarantees and limiting trade unions’ capacity to represent workers and defend their rights.

The International and European trade union movement, and among them ETUCE, has repeatedly supported the demands of the Ukrainian trade unions and urged the Government to abandon its policy of full deregulation and liberalisation of labour, as well as to discuss changes to the labour laws with trade unions.

ETUCE member organisation, the Trade Union of Education and Science Workers of Ukraine (TUESWU), is taking part in the national protest action. Supporting the general trade union demands, TUESWU has put forward its own sector-specific demands to the Government and the Parliament of Ukraine calling for, among other requests:

  • the public spending on education to be of not less than 7% of the GDP;
  • the implementation of Article 61 of the Law “On Education” regarding the level of wages of teachers, scientific and teaching personnel;
  • the reduction in the size of “prestige” allowance[1] paid to teachers;
  • the payment of an academic scholarship to a wider circle of recipients;
  • the adequate level of funding of higher education institutions;
  • the restoration of labour rights of retired teachers;
  • the voluntary vaccination of teachers;
  • the prevention of the closure of schools and kindergartens.

After the protest action the representatives of all-Ukrainian trade unions met with the Prime Minister of Ukraine and voiced their demands. The Deputy President of TUESWU highlighted more specifically the issues of teachers' salaries, scholarships and allowances.

ETUCE supports the Trade Union of Education and Science Workers of Ukraine demands and urge the Prime Minister of Ukraine to maintain a constructive social dialogue between the trade unions and the government, to respect Ukrainians workers’ rights and well-being.


[1] “Prestige” allowance – an additional “bonus” to the “gross salary” of a pedagogical worker for the prestige (“image”) of the pedagogical work. It is allocated to pedagogical staff employed not only in education institutions by his/her direct employer within a salary fund.