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 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. News 9 October 2020

    Global Unions call upon the World Bank and the IMF to support public investment

    The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will hold their Annual Meetings on 16-18 October. The International Financial Institutions can play a critical role in ensuring that there is a real and sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The International Trade Union Confederation and Global Union Federations, while...

    Global Unions call upon the World Bank and the IMF to support public investment
  9. News 9 October 2020

    Mexico: Union targets school dropouts during pandemic

    The National Union of Education Workers (SNTE) in Mexico celebrated World Teachers' Day with the delivery of televisions, smartphones, electronic tablets and computer equipment to teachers and students. The aim is to avoid school dropouts during the pandemic by facilitating online teaching and learning.

    Mexico: Union targets school dropouts during pandemic
  10. News 8 October 2020

    Germany: Education stakeholders demand swift implementation of enhanced safety measures in schools

    “Many questions remained unanswered” in terms of guaranteeing safe and healthy teaching and learning environments in Germany. That’s according to the two largest German education unions – the Gewerkschaft Erziehung und Wissenschaft (GEW) and the Verband Bildung und Erziehung (VBE) - and the Federal Parents' Council (BER) in a statement...

    Germany: Education stakeholders demand swift implementation of enhanced safety measures in schools
  11. News 7 October 2020

    Cameroon: Union development during and after the COVID-19 pandemic

    A teacher union operating in the private sector has decided to take a series of actions to ensure decent working and living conditions for teachers and also to strengthen its capacities and ensure that teachers’ voices are really heard by the public authorities.

    Cameroon: Union development during and after the COVID-19 pandemic
  12. News 6 October 2020

    Haiti: Solidarity of the global teacher trade union movement against government harassment of educators

    Education International and its member organisations are monitoring the situation for teacher trade unionists fighting for free, quality public education for all in Haiti. In particular, they are putting pressure on the government to respect the human and trade union rights of educators

    Haiti: Solidarity of the global teacher trade union movement against government harassment of educators
  13. Opinion 29 September 2020

    “The Movement Against Pension Reform in France: Paradoxes of Teacher Militancy” by Laurent Frajerman.

    Laurent Frajerman

    Teachers in France, like in many countries, are simultaneously leading a social movement and facing the prospect of a lowering of their professional status, which would become more acute as a result of the pension reform undertaken by the French government in 2019. But their ‘uber-militancy’ (the use of strikes...

    “The Movement Against Pension Reform in France: Paradoxes of Teacher Militancy” by Laurent Frajerman.
  14. News 28 September 2020

    Madagascar: an education union is bringing teachers’ grievances and suggestions to the attention of the public authorities

    With the help of Education International’s COVID-19 solidarity fund, the Fédération chrétienne des enseignants et employés de l’Éducation (FEKRIMPAMA) has been able to get out to meet Madagascar’s teachers. The pandemic has abruptly reduced their quality of life and drawn attention to the lack of social and health security for...

    Madagascar: an education union is bringing teachers’ grievances and suggestions to the attention of the public authorities