"Investing in growth and creating jobs: stepping up the contribution of the social partners" was the promising theme of the tripartite social summit which took place in the morning of 19 March 2015 just before the start of the European Council spring meeting 2015. It was the first Tripartite Social Summit within the mandate of the Juncker-Commission. It also came just shortly after the High Level Conference on social dialogue which the European Commission (EC) hosted in order to discuss the eagerly awaited so-called new start of social dialogue.

ETUCE is member of the European Policy Network of School Leadership (EPNoSL), which has recently published its Toolkit on School Leadership. The "School Leadership Toolkit for equity and learning" was designed to provide policy makers, school authorities, schools, researchers and teacher training institutes with the tools to reflect upon, identify challenges and prioritize areas for policy action to support and enhance school leadership for equity and learning.

In view of sharing knowledge and experience to enhance women's working conditions and gender equality, ETUI (the European Trade Union Institute) invited experts, trade union representatives and other stakeholders dealing with occupational health and safety and equal opportunities to its international conference on 4 to 6 March 2015 in Brussels. The participants discussed issues like the impact of gender and age on working life and structural causes of health inequalities between women and men. The conference showed that occupations in Europe are still segregated by gender.

European Schoolnet, the Brussels based network of 31 European Ministries of Education, is about to launch two new courses this April, one focusing on the creative use of tablets in schools and the other on tools and resources primary teachers can use to teach computing. Having reached close to 10, 000 teachers with the MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) on ICT (Information and Communication Technologies), the feedback that the European Network had received was overall positive and highlighted the significant lack in many countries for these types of professional development opportunities.

The Education and Science Trade Union of Moldova (ESTU) held their Congress on 5 March 2015 in Chisinau. The Union organises teachers and students from all levels of education. High on the agenda were issues on education reform and better salaries and working conditions for teachers. The salary of a teacher in Moldova is amongst the lowest in Europe; however the union's constant fight resulted in an increase of salary by 20 % last autumn and ESTU continues fighting for a bigger increase. An average teacher earns around 200 to 250 USD per month.

Trade unions in Europe are continuously pushing for further achievements on gender equality in working life. What can be done to strengthen this progress and what are the benefits of gender mainstreaming? The training seminar will look into these questions and compare national experience on gender perspectives in trade unions. In plenary discussions and working groups, topics such as the impact of the economic crisis on gender mainstreaming at the workplace will be addressed.