On 27-29 September 2017, ETUCE, the European Region of Education International (EI) holds its biennial Central and Eastern European (CEE) Round Table in Latvia. This year the focus lies on empowering education trade unions in CEE countries to tackle the social crisis.

Around seventy trade union leaders participating in the Round Table will share good practices on how to address challenges related to the continuous underfunding of the education sector and the deterioration of working conditions of education personnel. Limits to the scope of bargaining and violations of social dialogue alongside the flagrant breach of human and trade union rights in some countries in the CEE region; as well as the rise of right-wing populism and the political unrest leading, in some countries to the segregation of society are on the agenda.

Education trade unions from Central Eastern Europe are invited to bring forward experiences and debate about actions needed to further strengthen their capacity to support education personnel in their workplace and in their professional needs. “Empowering education trade unions to face the social crisis” says Susan Flocken, ETUCE European Director, “means developing and strengthening trade union capacity to fight for decent working conditions in education and being recognised as the expert voice concerning all issues inherent in the teaching profession. Strong and democratic unions play an important role in providing alternatives to populist, nationalist, and xenophobic narratives in society. This aim can only be achieved by using the collective strength of teachers and educators whom we organise and mobilise”.