Education International
Education International

European teacher unions resist attacks on public education

published 1 October 2010 updated 1 October 2010

Teacher unionists from Central and Eastern European (CEE) have adopted a declaration following a roundtable meeting in Bucharest, Romania, in which they have shared concerns about the effects of the economic crisis on funding for education and, in particular, on teachers' salaries.

The meeting was held from 29-30 September, in Romania, one of Europe’s worst affected countries which has seen a 25 percent cut on already low salaries.

EI Deputy General Secretary, Charlie Lennon, attended the event, along with more than 50 representatives of the 55 organisations within the 23 CEE group of countries. In their declaration, the education union representatives declared that ‘high quality education services are essential to sustainable economic development, the welfare of society and to the development of children,’ and ‘that highly qualified teachers are essential to the provision of high quality education services.’

They also pointed out that ‘Education is the only long-term solution to the economic crisis, not the cause of it!’

Teacher unionists also reaffirmed the commitment of education unions in CEE countries ‘to campaign for the provision of high quality education in all CEE countries,’ and ‘to work with other unions and supporters of education services to resist government attacks on education and other public services,’ as well as ‘to denounce the attempts by governments to reduce education budgets by removing security of employment for teachers.’

The participants agreed ‘to strengthen their capacity to organise and provide services to their members and to build solidarity with other education unions nationally and internationally,’ and ‘to collect, share and disseminate research evidence on key trends in education policies in the CEE region.’

To read the declaration, please click here.