On 8-9 October 2018, the ETUCE Committee, representing the European education trade unions, were gathered in Brussels to discuss governance and political issues. The members discussed the launching of an ETUCE Campaign to support the status of the teaching profession in light of the EI Global Response campaign and ahead of the European Parliament elections, to be advocated for among the European governments, the media and the national and local stakeholders. The members suggested to put emphasis on promoting the attractiveness the teaching profession ensured by quality teacher training and professional autonomy, and on freedom of education trade unions and strengthening social dialogue. The campaign is to provide counter arguments to the trends of privatisation and commercialisation of education and to growing nationalism, extremism and populism trends in Europe. The launch of the campaign is foreseen for ETUCE’s Special statutory Conference in November 2018.

The main task of the ETUCE Committee was to prepare the ETUCE Special Conference taking place in Athens on 26-28 November 2018, entitled “Shaping the Future of Europe: The Role of Education Trade Unions". Next to the conference resolutions already submitted, the Committee submitted a resolution on academic freedom and received the conference background document. All conference documents are available for download at the ETUCE Conference website. They will also be in due course available on the conference app.

Haldis Holst, EI Deputy General Secretary, took the floor to present the governing rules and practical planning of EI’s 8th World Congress, to be held in Bangkok, in July 2019. She outlined the theme, sub-themes, planning as well as the important deadlines for member organisations.

The Committee also discussed  the recent education and training policy developments of the European Union, such as the new Erasmus Programme proposal, and adopted the ETUCE statements on the European Commission’s education package entitled “Building a stronger Europe: new initiatives to further boost role of youth, education and culture policies” and on the “Horizon Europe” proposal.

The Committee debated the latest key developments of the European Sectoral Social Dialogue, among which the final Conference of the ESSDE III project, held in Sofia, in June 2018. This completed project covered as series of social dialogue issues currently at stake throughout Europe: occupational health  and safety and working conditions, equity and equality as well as initial and continuous teacher training. Another important meeting held in the framework of the ESSDE was the latest ESSDE Working Group on Higher Education and Research, which had covered issues such as equality, equity, innovation and research. Colleagues were invited to keep a close eye and take active part in the new Social Dialogue project promoting the integration of migrants and refugees in Education through which ETUCE and EFEE have already led two successful case studies.

Under the point of economic governance, the Committee members received an update concerning the latest developments related to the European Semester process, the priorities of the next cycle of Semester and the state of play of the European Pillar of Social rights, proclaimed on 17 November 2017 at the Gothenburg Summit; they learned, among other things, about the Social Scoreboard: a monitoring mechanism to assess the implementation of the pillars at the national level through various indicators.

Taking the floor representatives from Turkey, Cyprus, Serbia, Denmark and Poland reported on the latest solidarity actions, thanking ETUCE and its member organisations for their support. The Committee also took note of the ETUCE Conference “Enhancing gender equality in and through education” which took place on 7-8 May 2018 in Baku, Azerbaijan. You can find the Conference note here.