After five years of tough negotiations, trade union leaders in Serbia have signed a collective agreement for the higher education sector with the Minister of Education. Employees in higher education will now be covered by the same benefits and protection as other education staff.

Stig Lund from Denmark represents ETUCE in the European Commission’s Working Group on “Early Childhood Education and Care” which has a mandate between 2018-20. We spoke to Stig about the EU’s shifting perspective on this vital part of the education system and about ETUCE’s role representing education employees in early childhood education.

The Macron Government proposes to move towards a universal pension system for all based on “points” accrued every working year, which will have an unpredictable value at the time of retirement. Teachers will be especially affected and could lose up to 30% of the value of their pension. ETUCE stands with teachers and other education personnel taking part in today’s interprofessional strike.

Social dialogue country-delegates from ETUCE and the European Federation of Education Employers met in Brussels for the plenary meeting of the European Sectoral Social Dialogue in Education. They set out their plans for the coming years and committed to concrete measures and policy priorities on multiculturalism and the integration of refugees and migrants.

Last week’s 2-hour warning strike by teachers and other education personnel in Lithuania has brought a swift resolution to their dispute. The government has now promised to implement the €117m budget increase for education which they agreed to in 2017. ETUCE welcomes this victory for social dialogue and education trade unions’ agenda-setting power.

3 December is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which aims to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disabilities and celebrate their achievements and contributions. This year’s theme “Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership: taking action on the 2030 Development Agenda” is all about empowerment. Education trade unions are committed to the professional development and support of education personnel so that they can deliver inclusive education and address the needs of students with disabilities.