German-speaking education trade unions LCH, GÖD and VBE unite for a joint statement on COVID-19 and call for better digital training of teachers

11 May 2020

The COVID 19 outbreak is a public health crisis quite different than anything Europe has faced for many years. As education personnel and their trade unions grapple with the outbreak, we are supporting and informing member organisations in any way we can.

The COVID-19 pandemic impacts education systems across the continent, and many national education trade unions face similar challenges in the wake of the crisis, and are sharing information and experiences. On 11 May 2020, three ETUCE Member Organisations from German-speaking countries united to highlight shared concerns on the impact of COVID-19 on their national education systems.

On 11 May 2020, ETUCE Member organisations, LCH, GÖD, and VBE, respectively from Switzerland, Austria and Germany, released a joint statement highlighting joint concerns on the handling of the COVID-19 crisis. In particular, they report that the school closures were, in some cases, announced at very short notice, deploring the lack of preparation and its very concrete impact on education personnel: including a scarce preparedness to the transition to distance teaching, due to insufficient training. This concern is longstanding, as LCH, GÖD, and VBE have been campaigning together for better digital infrastructure in their national education systems for years.

Udo Beckmann, VBE President, commented: "We call on the responsible parties in our countries […] to take appropriate countermeasures […] in order to guarantee the digital infrastructure, equipment, teaching and learning materials and further training of teachers as well as the development and scientific evaluation of pedagogical concepts. The focus must be on educational equity. […] Last but not least, the primacy of pedagogy always applies. The teacher decides on the method. However, in order to enable a real choice of methods, equipment, qualification and practice are needed. Only in this way can decisions be made in favour of the highest pedagogical added value".

To read the joint LCH, GÖD, and VBE Statement on COVID-19 (in German), please click here

Get in touch

The ETUCE Secretariat sends solidarity to all teachers, academics and other education personnel and their education trade unions as they react to and tackle this unprecedented crisis. We invite ETUCE member organisations to inform the ETUCE Secretariat about the challenges you face, how you are responding, which good practices you have developed and can share with colleagues, as well as your needs for support from the ETUCE family. Contact ETUCE at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..