Education unions in Albania are looking to the future in a training programme for regional trade union leaders. With a particular focus on engaging women and young teachers, this two-day seminar introduced 25 participants to leadership theories and helped them develop their negotiation and communication skills. ETUCE and Norway’s Utdanningsforbundet joined the seminar by video link.

Education trade unions face an ageing membership and potential decline in affiliation among younger and underrepresented groups. We need to regather our strength by increasing the activist base and members’ involvement in union structures and activities. ETUCE’s project on trade union renewal, YOUR TURN!, brings education trade unions together to explore the meaning and practice of a revitalised movement. This week in Rome, union representatives from nine countries across southern Europe showed that there is real hope with their clear analysis and practical examples of how we can transform trade unions for a changing world.

LŠMPS is calling a two-hour warning strike tomorrow, in response to the government’s decision to overturn a collective agreement on increased education funding and teacher salaries. Lithuania’s Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport pledged to allocate an additional €117 million next year but the proposed 2020 budget earmarks only €55.5 million in extra funding: a shortfall of €61.5 million. ETUCE supports education personnel in Lithuania demanding respect for social dialogue and collective agreements.

Nearly 5000 members and supporters of Eğitim Sen gathered in Ankara, Turkey, on 23 November. Eğitim Sen had called academics, teachers and other education personnel to the open air meeting under the slogan “For our rights, future and our students’ right to education”.

On 19 November, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) published its report on "Integration of young refugees in the EU". It identifies serious obstacles in existing integration approaches for young people (age 16-24) in the fields of family reunification, housing, social welfare, health or education and delivers good practice examples from EU member states. The data shows that in some EU countries, refugee children have to wait up to one year to attend compulsory school. 

Rob Copeland of UCU tells us about the two linked disputes which have led higher education workers in the UK to begin an 8-day strike. Employers are refusing to listen to experts when it comes to the management of the pension scheme, while pay and conditions continue to deteriorate. Rob, who is Chair of our Higher Education and Research Standing Committee, says that the stability of the profession and the quality of education are in danger. ETUCE and member organisations across Europe stand in solidarity with UCU.