Safer Internet Day (SID) is an annual opportunity to engage in making our internet a better and safer place for our children and young people. Being initiated under the European Commission’s Safer Internet Programme and now being organized by Insafe, today SID has outgrown its original geographic zone and is being celebrated in more than 100 countries worldwide, including all 28 countries of the European Union.

Recently in Turkey, more than 1100 Turkish scholars have been placed under investigation after they signed a petition calling on the government the restoration of national peace in the Kurdish Southeast region. Following the publication, signatories have been arrested charged with terrorism, and related crime, and suspended or forced to resign their position.

Teachers in Hungary are increasingly in disagreement with the education policy of the Hungarian government. Teachers of two different secondary schools sent their separate open letters to the government in January and teachers of other 466 schools, including kindergartens, primary and secondary schools and vocational education and training schools, joined their petition entitled “I would love to teach”. The teachers of the 2 secondary schools underlined the following problems of the Hungarian education system that they esteem are obstacles of provision of quality education.

A nationwide strike is taking place on Thursday,4 February 2016, to protest against the government’s planned pension reforms, while the proposed act is being submitted to the Greek Parliament. The reform is supposed to impose further cuts on benefits and also increase citizens’ social security contribution in order to improve Greece’s pension system. These austerity measures are linked to the targets set by the international creditors to Greece as part of the country’s third bailout.

On 29 January, ETUCE held the second training seminar of the project ‘Social Partners promoting Decent Workplaces in the Education Sector for a Healthier Working Life’ in London. The project objectives are to prevent work-related stress in the education sector and to promote joint social partner guidelines at national, regional and local level aiming to prepare the ground of a joint declaration with ETUCE and EFEE (European Federation of Education Employer) on this topic.

On 16 January ETUCE Member organisations in Cyprus POED, KTOS, KTOEÖS, OLTEK and DAÜ-SEN organised a bi-communal conference under the auspices of ETUCE on the topic “Develop Peace Culture – The role of Education” in Nicosia’s buffer zone. This event is one of the positive outcomes of a continuing collaboration initiated by ETUCE and its members in Cyprus to bring the country’s communities together.