Ei-iE

Peter Marshall / Demotix Images
Peter Marshall / Demotix Images

Trade union rights are human rights

Trade unionists are far too often subject to attacks by repressive governments. Every year, many are subjected to violence, arrest and imprisonment, torture and even murder. Trade union leaders in education are targeted by non-democratic governments who seek total control of education, and deny teachers and education support personnel their rights.

Even in democratic countries, many education workers are denied the right to join unions and/or engage in collective bargaining. Where bargaining exists, limits on its scope can be imposed. Moreover, teachers and education support personnel are denied the right to strike.

Education International also supports the right of students to organise and join the fight for more inclusive and democratic communities.

Working closely with our member organisations, other global unions and human rights networks, we use supervisory mechanisms at the national, regional and global levels to ensure rights and standards are respected and social dialogue is effective.

Solidarity actions among our global membership are a powerful tool to advance rights everywhere.

Our work in this area

  1. News 23 October 2020

    Extraordinary Global Education Meeting reaffirms commitments to SDG 4 and calls for accelerated funding and global solidarity

    An extraordinary session of the UNESCO Global Education Meeting (GEM) took place today, 22 October. It was preceded by a technical meeting on the 20th devoted to policy preparation. The meeting focused on global priorities for recovery in education and accelerated action in order to make progress on achieving SDG...

    Extraordinary Global Education Meeting reaffirms commitments to SDG 4 and calls for accelerated funding and global solidarity
  2. News 23 October 2020

    Germany: Public authorities must align health measures in education institutions to infection rates

    The two largest teacher organisations and Education International’ affiliates, the Gewerkschaft Erziehung und Wissenschaft (GEW) and the Verband Bildung und Erziehung (VBE), and the Federal Parents' Council (BER, German acronym) remain critical of the education authorities’ plans for COVID-19.

    Germany: Public authorities must align health measures in education institutions to infection rates
  3. Opinion 21 October 2020

    “Africa: Collaboration between Unions and Governments for a Better Future in Education”, by Cherine Sabry.

    Cherine Sabry

    Unions and governments have been in conflict since the dawn of time. The mere existence of unions as a force to defend workers’ rights where governments fail to do so in and of itself leads to this conflictual relationship. In Africa, unions have rarely been consulted during the COVID-19 crisis...

    “Africa: Collaboration between Unions and Governments for a Better Future in Education”, by Cherine Sabry.
  4. News 21 October 2020

    Zimbabwe: Government must pay teachers decent salaries for them to resume work

    The Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (ZIMTA) and the Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) find themselves in confrontation with the government over teachers’ salaries and ‘incapacitation’, as teachers remain out of the classroom. They have urged the Government to improve its financial offer to teachers in order to get them to...

    Zimbabwe: Government must pay teachers decent salaries for them to resume work
  5. News 21 October 2020

    Education International’s affiliates show tremendous solidarity amongst educators through the COVID-19 Response Fund

    From the very beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, Education International called on global education union solidarity to help member organisations respond to the sanitary crisis and emerge stronger from it in terms of mobilising, organising and capacity-building.

    Education International’s affiliates show tremendous solidarity amongst educators through the COVID-19 Response Fund
  6. News 20 October 2020

    UNESCO prioritises post-COVID-19 education

    Education in the current and post-COVID-19 world will be the focus of an extraordinary session of UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Meeting (2020 GEM) on 22 October. Co-hosted by the Government of the United Kingdom, political leaders, policy makers, and global education actors will have an opportunity to agree on global...

    UNESCO prioritises post-COVID-19 education
  7. News 19 October 2020

    France: French unions lead mourning of assassinated teacher Samuel Paty

    In gatherings all over France, tribute was paid to Samuel Paty, 47, a history, and geography teacher who was the victim of a terrorist attack near his school, Conflans-Sainte-Honorine in the Paris suburbs. Paty was decapitated following an Internet campaign against the use in his class of a caricature of...

    France: French unions lead mourning of assassinated teacher Samuel Paty
  8. News 16 October 2020

    Germany: Education unions critical of KMK’s backward steps and patchwork approach

    Education is taking a step backwards in Germany, according to Education International’s affiliates, the Gewerkschaft Erziehung und Wissenschaft (GEW) and the Verband Bildung und Erziehung (VBE). The unions were reacting to resolutions agreed by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK, German acronym).

    Germany: Education unions critical of KMK’s backward steps and patchwork approach
  9. News 16 October 2020

    Taiwan: Education union’s pressure prompts a private educational provider to apologise for harassment

    The National Teachers’ Association (NTA) in Taiwan publicly denounced the Kang Hsuan Educational Publishing Group (KH Group) for its unlawful practices concerning public health as well as labour issues. The KH Group is one of the largest private educational corporations in Taiwan.

    Taiwan: Education union’s pressure prompts a private educational provider to apologise for harassment
  10. News 15 October 2020

    Iraq: Education union demands improvements in the education sector

    On the occasion of World Teachers’ Day, 5 October, the Kurdistan Teachers’ Union (KTU) called on the government to improve educators’ working and living conditions and the quality of education at all levels.

    Iraq: Education union demands improvements in the education sector
  11. News 14 October 2020

    Australia: Educators act against poverty and on mental health issues

    The Australian Education Union (AEU) has invited its members to participate in the national Anti-Poverty Week and to support the wellbeing and mental health of students and colleagues.

    Australia: Educators act against poverty and on mental health issues
  12. Statements 11 October 2020

    Statement | International Coming Out Day

    It’s International Coming Out Day! In celebration, the Council of Global Unions is releasing our LGBTI website to share the work of Global Unions promoting LGBTI rights at work at national, regional and international levels.

    Statement | International Coming Out Day