Opening the ETUCE Committee meeting held in Brussels on 23-24 October 2017,  ETUCE President, Christine Blower, welcomed the new Committee members: Anthony Casaru, MUT, for the country seat of Malta, Feray Aytekin Aydoğan, EGITIM-SEN, for the country seat of Turkey and Ravshan Melsovich Bedilov, TUESCWU, for the country seat of Uzbekistan.

EI General Secretary, Fred Van Leeuwen, gave a welcome speech, emphasising on the recognition of the work of ETUCE in supporting the implementation of EI policies in the region, highlighting the impact of the rise of right-wing and extremist movements on education and the role education trade unions have in counteracting  them. He called for unity within EI and announced the upcoming  25 year celebration of EI in January 2018.

European Director, Susan Flocken, highlighted the important role of education trade unions in promoting democratic citizenship and a future generation that thinks critically,  valuing diversity and respecting equality,. She called for meaningful and effective social dialogue at national and European level with a view to ensure decent workplaces and an attractive teaching profession in future.

For the ETUCE 2018 Special Conference  the committee members decided to hold the conference in Athens and focus on the theme: ‘Shaping the Future of Europe: The Role of Education Trade Unions’.

The committee received an overview of the latest developments concerning Economic Governance and the European Semester, the European Sectoral Social Dialogue and the European Pillar of Social Rights. Committee members affirmed their solidarity with Turkey and the situation in Spain regarding the Catalan separation movement.

Learning how ETUCE and its member organisations influence the decision-making at European and national level, the Committee adopted:

  • ETUCE views on the European Commission’s initiative on School development and excellent teaching for a great start in life, demanding more concrete suggestions to Member States to better support teachers and the reinforcement of social dialogue.
  • ETUCE views on the Proposal for a Council Recommendation on Tracking Graduates, in which ETUCE insists that graduates’ achievements need to be analysed and used with great sensitivity as employers’ organisations tend to blame the education sector for the so-called  ‘skills mismatch’
  • ETUCE views on the European Commission’s communication on a renewed EU agenda for higher education, highlights ETUCE’s concerns that the document focuses too prominently on preparing students only for the short-term needs of the labour market.
  • ETUCE Statement on the 30th Anniversary of the ERASMUS Exchange Programme, calling on the European Commission to make the Erasmus programme as inclusive as possible.
  • ETUCE Statement on Brexit, calling on the negotiating parties to ensure that negotiations lead to  a social and economic agreement that protects employment, living standards and teachers’ and trade union rights.
  • ETUCE reply to the Commission concept paper on “Digitisation, employability and inclusiveness - the role of Europe” pointing out several issues to consider as regards the challenges and opportunities of digitisation for teachers, academics and other educational personnel

The next ETUCE Committee meeting takes place In Brussels on 19-20 March 2018.

All adopted documents can be found in the statement section of the ETUCE website