In mid-October 2016, the leadership of the Trade Union of Education and Science Workers of Ukraine (TUESWU) had a number of long-awaited meetings with social partners. In particular, they met with Lilia Grinevich, Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine, to discuss pressing issues in the education system.

Social partners discussed the state budget 2017 and its component for the education sector, focusing on maintaining teachers’ employment during the optimisation of the network of educational institutions and creating of so-called “support schools” (a common secondary school for the region uniting students from different villages in the proximity of 20 km that has the best educational equipment and the best teachers from the region and where students and teachers are brought by school buses). The issue of maintaining student scholarships (both academic and social) was also raised at the meeting, as well as creating conditions for the self-realization of young people in Ukraine. Social partners discussed some questions on the Sectorial Agreement that is expected to be signed by the end of November, and agreed to coordinate further joint actions of addressing certain tasks in order to raise the status of the teaching profession and to protect the rights of education workers.

On 19 October 2016, the President of TUESWU Georgiy Trukhanov participated in a meeting of all-Ukrainian trade unions with the Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman.

The Prime Minister stressed that the remuneration system reform in Ukraine remains one of the most important priorities of the government. He also reminded about the raise of social standards by 10% as of 1 December 2016 but noted that in the future, the raise of social standards should be accelerated. However, sectoral trade unions are not convinced that the government has all necessary resources for the promised pay raise in the public sector in December.

The President of the Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine Grigoriy Osovoy pointed out that the situation with prices and utility tariffs remains challenging and the social tension does not subside: the pay raise by 10% does not override the increase of the cost of living by 40% as a  result of growing prices and tariffs. Moreover, the President noted that trade unions still have not received any legislative proposals from the Government on the announced remuneration system reform, and that no effective tools of the salary arrears elimination were used either in the private or in the public sectors of the economy.

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