Within the European Pillar of Social Rights and in the era of digitalisation and active ageing, highest occupational safety and health standards have become more crucial than ever for teachers and other education personnel. For ETUCE and its member organisations, in particular, preventing and combating psychosocial risks and hazards in the education sector, such as work-related stress, is important and has led to the 2016 ETUCE-EFEE Joint Declaration.

The ETUC has published a report looking at gender-based violence at work as well as at home and strategies of trade unions and social partners to eliminate gender-based violence. This publication was produced as part of the ETUC’s “Safe at home, safe at work” project and concludes that collective bargaining is one of the most important tools for addressing and preventing gender-based violence at work and lists ten things that trade unions can do to tackle gender-based violence and harassment at work.

EURYDICE has published a report on the recommended minimum instruction time in full-time compulsory general education in 2016/17 in 42 European education systems. Since 2010, EURYDICE issues yearly reports on the recommended minimum instruction time, analysing recent policy changes, the flexibility of local authorities and schools with a view to distributing the instruction time across grades and subjects, and the instruction time provided for different subjects.

With this week’s meetings confirming the  Education Ministry’s insufficient commitment to improve the situation in the education sector, two ETUCE member organisations in Portugal, Federação Nacional da Educação (FNE) and Federação Nacional dos Professores (FENPROF), announce a national teachers’ strike to be held on 21 June 2017. For FNE and FENPROF, this is an inevitable step to relaunch meaningful social dialogue in Portugal for the recognition of education personnel, including non-teaching staff.

Over the course of three days in May, participants of the annual Congress of the University and College Union (UCU) in Brighton, discussed many important issues concerning not only further and higher education and state education policies, but also issues of equality, free movement, climate change, and of course, the future of education trade unions and loss of their memberships. Trade unionists also called to campaign against the repression of university teachers, journalists, and politicians in Turkey and commented on the French elections by warning about the growth of racism and islamophobia in Europe.

The Directorate General Communications Networks, Content &Technology (DG CONNECT) of the European Commission has recently published a concept paper on ‘Digitisation, employability and inclusiveness’ (May 2017). The report deals with the impact of digital transformation on the labour market, in particular, with the challenges and opportunities of digitalisation for employability and inclusive purposes.