A record number of 16,000 Finnish teachers and headmasters from different education levels came together in the frame of the OAJ’ Educa fair that took place on 27-28 January 2017, in Helsinki, Finland. This year, an independent  ethical panel working with Opetusalan Ammattijärjestö, OAJ, one of the ETUCE’s member organisations in Finland, initiated a teachers’ pledge entitled Comenius oath that emphasises fairness, equality, peace and the role of teachers: “This oath is aimed to enhance teachers’ status as well as to remind every teacher that the teaching profession is very important and includes several principals that we, as teachers, have to respect”, said OAJ President, Olli Luukkainen.

On 6-7 February 2017, the second open hearing on the 10 October 2015 bomb attacks, took place in Ankara, Turkey. The devastating suicide bombings amidst the rally “Labour, Democracy and Freedom” had caused 101 deaths and left more than 500 people injured. Among the victims were many trade unionists. Seven active members of EĞITIM-SEN lost their lives in the attack.

On 14 February 2017, 8,000 education personnel from all education levels gathered in the streets of Berlin together with other public services employees to demand, inter alia, a general increase in salaries of 6%, especially, for education personnel to whom the level 6 is applied. This level is based on the employees’ pay grade, in accordance with the collective agreement. Rallies in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Bremen, Sachsen-Anhalt and Hamburg were reported too.

On 14 February, ETUCE hosted the kick off Advisory Group meeting of new project “European Sectoral Social Partners in Education striving for sustainable influence on European education policy building through successful social dialogue”. This project is co-funded by the European Commission, Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion and it is carried out by both ETUCE and the European Federation of Education Employers (EFEE), who will work in partnership - as European Sectoral Social Partners in Education - in this project for the next two years.

On 14-15 February 2017, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has kicked off the Pay Rise Campaign by a Conference titled: 'Time for Our Recovery – Europe needs a pay rise'. The Conference takes place in Brussels and gathers social partners and decision-makers from all around Europe. The two-day event is organised around four thematic panels, with interventions from numerous speakers involved in Labour, Employment and Social Issues at both the European and national levels.

According to the education section of NSZZ “Solidarność”, one of ETUCE’s member organisations in Poland, for the first time since 2012 salaries of Polish teachers are going to increase by 1.3% at all education levels, with the exception of higher education, as a result of negotiations with local authorities as well as with members of the Polish government. The commitment to raise salaries followed the dialogue in the frame of the Group for Professional Status of Education Employees, of which NSZZ “Solidarność” is part.