ETUCE Committee Members gather to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the education sector

29 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.

For months now, national education trade unions have tirelessly mobilised to provide their members help and advocate, on the behalf of education personnel, but also for the benefit of the whole school community, for clear support of the education sector in these times of unprecedented crisis.

Earlier this week, on the occasion of the ETUCE Committee Webinar on COVID-19, Committee Members discussed the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the education sector, from the viewpoint of their national experiences, and in the aim of establishing a European-wide common position on the road to recovery from this crisis. During the webinar, participants shared their concerns regarding the COVID-19 crisis globally and regionally and showcased national examples regarding the transition to distance education and its challenges, as well as challenges regarding inclusion and equity in education during, and after the COVID-19 crisis.

Amongst the many challenges shared across the whole region, featured:

  • The involvement of education trade unions and respect of social dialogue in the process of developing and implementing measures in the education sector in answering the pandemic;
  • Ensuring equal access of all teaching staff and students to remote education material;
  • The impact of the transition to distance education on teaching staff’s employment and working conditions, and in particular, the most precarious workers;
  • Concerns on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on national economies and the consequences for public funding of education and potential cuts in education budgets.

Participants affirmed their resolve to continue fighting for quality public education for all, and fair, safe and healthy working conditions for all education personnel, during, and after the current global pandemic.