This year’s OECD report shows that tertiary education offers individuals a real advantage on the labour market. It also explores some of the factors behind teacher shortages, revealing that gender inequality and pay discrepancies within the education sector are a big part of the problem.

A firm grounding in digital skills is vital for students and their teachers. A new report from Eurydice recognises the importance of support measures for the initial training and continued development of teacher-specific digital competences. This has long been a key feature of ETUCE’s demands for teachers’ optimal professional development.

Gender equality is a vital issue for teachers and education trade unions. We need to mainstream it in all fields of our work. This includes unions’ internal policies. Participants at this week’s ETUCE conference ‘Education Trade Unions Addressing Gender Equality Through Social Dialogue’ discussed some burning issues of gender inequality in the education sector, and shared practical tools to address it. In particular, they explored ways to introduce the gender equality aspect in social dialogue and collective bargaining with employers.

A new opinion from the European Economic and Social Committee calls for research on “EU literacy” as a competence and the development of resources to help schools teach it. The opinion also highlights the key role of teachers, and their need for training and support. This echoes the findings of the research report produced in the EU CONVINCE project, which found that citizenship education on EU topics is underdeveloped across Europe.

By playing an active role in training and professional development, education trade unions support their members in their work and defend the status of teaching as an independent profession. Three new courses for the members of SBASHK in Kosovo have been currently supported by ETUCE in the framework of the bilateral cooperation agreement signed in July 2019.

The new ETUCE study Education trade unions addressing gender equality through social dialogue reveals that gender equality issues are still not a priority in collective bargaining and social dialogue with education authorities and employers. The researchers recommend that trade unions exploit the potential of social dialogue further to enhance gender equality in the education sector.