Following the national strike of 15 November 2017 and negotiations on 17 November 2017 with the Ministry of Education of Portugal who was represented by Alexandra Leitão, the State Secretary, ETUCE member organisations in Portugal, Federaçao Nacional dos Professores (FENPROF) and Federação Nacional dos Sindicatos da Educação (FNE), have recently signed a declaration committing education authorities and education trade unions to set the basis and framework to negotiate the defreeze of the teaching career progression and harmonise education personnel’s working time.

On 24 November 2017, at the occasion of the Public Hearing, organised jointly by the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) the European Federation of Education Employers (EFEE), and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on the occasion of the second European Vocational Skills Week, around fifty representatives from national trade unions and education employer organisations across Europe, Members of the European Parliament, policy makers, education and industry stakeholders, and civil society organisations gathered in Brussels to discuss and to shed light on “The role of teachers and school heads in improving the status of VET”.

On the occasion of the World Teachers’ Day (5th October 2017), Spanish trade union, ETUCE member organisation, FeSP-UGT, launched its 2017 World Teachers’ Campaign “Teachers are essential”, including a manifesto and e-poster. The campaign continues throughout the school-year with the purpose of empowering teachers as prerequisite for quality teaching. This month, in November 2017, FeSP-UGT campaign is focused on ‘tackling the excessive number of direct teaching hours of teachers with their students’.

Gender-based violence remains a serious and highly unreported problem in Europe: according to the recent report on violence against women by the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), one in three women (33%) in the EU has experienced physical and/or sexual violence since she was 15 years old.  On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November 2017) EI and ETUCE highlight that education trade unions play a major role in eliminating any types of violence and harassment against women and ensuring that schools are safe and secure places for all students and education personnel.

Today, the European Social Partners in Education, EFEE (European Federation of Education Employers) and ETUCE (European Trade Union Committee for Education) adopted a Joint Statement on Improving Vocational Education and Training (VET) in Europe. The Statement, adopted by the European Sectoral Social Dialogue in Education (ESSDE) Plenary, commits the Social Partners in Education to contribute to improving the attractiveness and image of VET.

Today on 22 November 2017, the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament organises a public hearing in Brussels, together with the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC). Speakers are Luca Visentini, ETUC General Secretary, Susan Flocken, ETUCE European Director, Ramazan Gurbuz, KESK General Secretary (Confederation of Public Employees’ Trade Unions), Remzi Çaliskan, President of Genel-is (Public Services Employees Union of Disk) and Annie van Wezel, Senior policy adviser international affairs at the FNV (Dutch TUC), co-chair of EU-Turkey Joint Consultative Committee of the EESC.