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.

On 28 January, the European Commission has presented an action plan on corporate taxation, focusing on establishing a Common Consolidated Tax Base for Corporations (CCCTB) in the EU as well as making companies pay their taxes in countries where they produce their profits. The long way on combating tax avoidance and evasion has started as a response to the financial scandal Luxemburg Leaks (LuxLeaks) revealed in 2014 by a journalistic investigation.

French unions representing secondary teachers have reported a massive participation in yesterday’s national strike action against the government reforms. The lack of social dialogue and resources are amongst the main criticisms directed at the Minister of Education since May 2015 when teacher unions started mobilising against the ‘Collège2016’ reform.

In remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust, the United Nations have dedicated the 27 January to the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. In the light of the sixtieth year of the defeat of the Nazi regime, the United Nations General Assembly adopted in 2005 the resolution in memory of the day of liberation of the concentration camp Auschwitz.