Dating back to 1919, the Malta Union of Teachers (MUT) was the first trade union established in Malta. MUT recently held a series of activities to mark this important anniversary. These included an animated lecture about its history in June, the official opening of its new headquarters in October, and a conference on education issues in Malta and in the EU at which our European Director Susan Flocken participated. The concluding event was held on 6 December under the patronage of the President of the Republic of Malta, HE Dr George Vella, and consisted of the unveiling of a commemorative monument by the MUT President Mr Marco Bonnici.

The EPSCO Council gathers Ministers of Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs from EU member states. On 10 December 2019, they adopted a Council Conclusion which invites the European Commission to develop a new EU Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at work (OSH). ETUCE welcomes this positive development, because the changing world of work requires an ambitious new approach in the field of health and safety. Bold steps expanding the coverage of OSH legislation at European level would help better protect education personnel and all workers across Europe.

After five years of tough negotiations, trade union leaders in Serbia have signed a collective agreement for the higher education sector with the Minister of Education. Employees in higher education will now be covered by the same benefits and protection as other education staff.

Stig Lund from Denmark represents ETUCE in the European Commission’s Working Group on “Early Childhood Education and Care” which has a mandate between 2018-20. We spoke to Stig about the EU’s shifting perspective on this vital part of the education system and about ETUCE’s role representing education employees in early childhood education.

The Macron Government proposes to move towards a universal pension system for all based on “points” accrued every working year, which will have an unpredictable value at the time of retirement. Teachers will be especially affected and could lose up to 30% of the value of their pension. ETUCE stands with teachers and other education personnel taking part in today’s interprofessional strike.

Social dialogue country-delegates from ETUCE and the European Federation of Education Employers met in Brussels for the plenary meeting of the European Sectoral Social Dialogue in Education. They set out their plans for the coming years and committed to concrete measures and policy priorities on multiculturalism and the integration of refugees and migrants.