Teachers in primary and secondary have been on strike since 10 October demanding a decent pay rise which recognises the high workload and complexity of the profession. ETUCE stands on solidarity with the Croatian member organisations and supports their fair demand for a salary increase of on average 6.11 % for all employees in primary and secondary education.

Education personnel are exposed to occupational hazards which can have a disastrous impact on their physical and mental health. These include dangerous substances, which are the focus of this year’s European Week for Safety and Health at Work. Science teachers are not the only ones in danger from toxic chemicals – schools across Europe are still full of asbestos.

Vocational Education and Training (VET) is an integral part of the education system across Europe, but VET and the teachers who deliver it often get less attention than they deserve. European Vocational Skills Week, an annual series of events led by the European Commission, puts VET in the spotlight. This year’s events took place in Helsinki following the invitation of the Finnish Presidency of the Council of the EU. ETUCE’s Finnish member organisation OAJ was there with an exhibition stand about the teaching profession and OAJ’s work. We spoke to Inkeri Toikka about OAJ’s views on VET and recent developments for apprenticeships in Finland.

Education can help break cycles of poverty, but children who go to bed hungry struggle to flourish at school. 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), but too many children are still in poverty and excluded from the full benefits of education. This year’s International Day for the Eradication of Poverty focuses on children, so ETUCE calls for schools and teachers to get the funding and support they need to lift children out of poverty.

ETUCE member organisation SBASHK has launched a new representative body especially for its women members. This step is an excellent development for gender equality, women's rights and the promotion of women’s leadership in unions in Kosovo.

A new Eurydice report analyses the statutory salaries of teachers and school heads in pre-primary, primary and general secondary public schools in 42 European education systems. The figures show that salaries increased in most countries during that time period but that some countries still have big salary differences between education levels. The report includes a wide range of national data about salaries, allowances and other additional payments for teachers and school heads.