The Ukrainian Ministry of Education and Science is under new leadership. ETUCE’s member organisation TUESWU met the recently appointed minister and the Head of the Parliamentary Committee on Education, Science and Innovations. TUESWU expressed concern about the draft budget for 2020, which could lead to 3000 school closures, and demanded decent pay and working conditions for teaching professionals.

On 22 October 2019, the first meeting between social partners and the new leadership of the Ministry of Education and Science took place in Kiev. The Trade Union of Education and Science Workers of Ukraine (TUESWU) was represented by its President Georgiy Trukhanov and members of the Bureau. The Ministry hosted the meeting and was represented by Anna Novosad, Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine, and two Deputy Ministers. MP Serhiy Babak, Head of the Parliamentary Committee on Education, Science and Innovation, also attended the meeting.

Various critical issues were on the agenda, especially those related to the State Budget for 2020 and the level of spending on education. TUESWU set out workers’ point of view on the use of educational subsidies, teachers’ salaries, improvements to education legislation and other socio-economic issues. They also raised the issue of student scholarships.

Commenting the draft State Budget 2020, TUESWU President Georgiy Trukhanov underlined that the trade union was against the government’s budget proposals, which could lead to the closure of about 3000 schools in Ukraine. He also outlined the education trade union demands regarding the Education Law:

  • Public spending on education of at least 7% of GDP
  • Increase in teachers’ salaries in accordance with Article 61
  • A guarantee that teachers’ salaries will always be at least four times the minimum subsistence level
  • No dismissal of teachers who receive their pension
  • No use of fixed-term contracts for teachers
  • Limits on the number of children in classes
  • No increase in teachers’ working hours
  • Adequate financial support for state higher education institutions as set out in legislative norms

The social partners agreed on further steps to ensure constructive cooperation in order to deal with these challenges and protect the rights and conditions of teachers and students.

ETUCE continues to monitor the situation.