On November 12th 2018, the Gender Equality Taskforce Action Plan for Higher Education 2018-2020 was launched by Irish Minister for Higher Education, Ms. Mitchell O’Connor. In addition to this Action Plan, the Senior Academic Leadership Initiative has been launched, which foresees the creation of 45 senior academic posts for women in Higher Education colleges nationwide.

The two-year-long Get Up (Gender Equality Training to Overcome Unfair Discrimination Practices in the Education and Labour market) has recently come to a close, marked by its final conference A Gender Story which took place in Rome 5 December 2018. Given the relevance of this project’s objectives to the education trade union movement, ETUCE European Director, Susan Flocken, presented on the gender pay gap in the teaching profession during the final conference, enlightening participants on ETUCE’s gender-focused resolutions and action plans as well as on our current project Empowering education trade unions to address gender equality in the teaching profession through social dialogue.

The International day of Migrants is celebrated on the 18 December, a day which recognises the diversity of the 258 million migrants in our world today. Migrants are a vital part of our society, contributing to the economic, social and cultural development for societies across the world. Despite this, migrants are still experiencing an alarming amount of hostility and discrimination.For ETUCE and its member organisations solidarity with migrants is key to an inclusive world which embraces and celebrates diversity.

On 11 December 2018, teachers and other education personnel in Serbia took to the streets of Belgrade. The Teacher Union of Serbia (TUS) reports that the one-day strike action under the motto “Why devalue education?” was staged by education trade unions, including NTTU and TUS, ETUCE affiliates in the country.

The difficult period that had started with a big convention in Ljubljana in October 2017, continued this year with two strikes, complex negotiations and the resignation of the Slovenian Prime Minister, has been successfully ended.The Education, Science and Culture Trade Union of Slovenia (ESTUS), ETUCE member organisation in Slovenia, succeeded in raising teachers’ salaries and celebrates its victory. “With the agreed pay rise and signed agreement, ESTUS has fulfilled and included all the demands that were previously agreed upon and negotiated with the former Prime Minister, who resigned just before signing and concluding the agreement earlier in spring”, explained ESTUS General Secretary, Branimir Štrukelj.

10 December marks the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This day celebrates the day that the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that every individual regardless of their race, colour, religion, sex, language, political opinion, birth or other status, has the right to fundamental rights, this consists of: