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 27 March 2022

    Uruguay: Unions say yes to public education

    Education International in full solidarity with its affiliates

    Against all the odds, trade union organisations and grassroots movements in Uruguay secured a referendum in the country to overturn a series of government-imposed measures set to undermine public education and encourage privatisation.

    Uruguay: Unions say yes to public education
  2. News 21 March 2022

    Senegal: Unions win pay rise

    At a high-level meeting with several ministers, the leaders of Senegal's principal education unions reached agreement on several positive measures, namely a pay rise for education and training staff and the upgrading of the allowance system for managerial and administrative roles. The career prospects for education and teaching staff were...

    Senegal: Unions win pay rise
  3. News 14 March 2022

    Cameroon: The government must respect the unions as partners in social dialogue

    Faced with the rise of anarchic and disorganised teacher protest movements on social networks, Cameroon's education unions are stressing the urgency of holding social dialogue in good faith. They have asked the public authorities to respond as quickly as possible to the many teacher demands and to keep their promises.

    Cameroon: The government must respect the unions as partners in social dialogue
  4. News 23 February 2022

    Mauritania: teachers strike for a decent life and better working conditions

    A coalition of Mauritanian education unions called for a strike from 21-25 February. The widely supported action aimed at “wresting the rights” of teachers from the Minister of Education and underlined the unity of teachers.

    Mauritania: teachers strike for a decent life and better working conditions
  5. News 22 February 2022

    Iraq: Union presents a plan to develop higher education and research

    The Kurdistan Teachers' Union (KTU) and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research held a joint meeting aiming at taking stock of the situation of higher education in this Iraqi region as well as developing it.

    Iraq: Union presents a plan to develop higher education and research
  6. News 3 February 2022

    China: Winter Olympics must not overshadow the fight for human rights

    Ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics starting on 4 February in Beijing, China, Education International joins the international trade union movement’s call for human and trade union rights.

    China: Winter Olympics must not overshadow the fight for human rights
  7. News 19 January 2022

    Romania: Education unions mobilise for decent living and working conditions

    The Fédération des Syndicats Libres de l'Enseignement (FSLE) and the Fédération des syndicats de l’éducation Spiru Haret, both Romanian affiliates of Education International, organised a warning strike on 19 January. They are demanding decent wages and working conditions for education workers.

    Romania: Education unions mobilise for decent living and working conditions
  8. News 13 January 2022

    France: wide participation in strike action against the management of the health crisis in schools

    Education unions in France mobilised on 13 January calling for staff to be respected and that schools have the resources they need to function amid the COVID-19 health crisis. The trigger for the strike was the health protocol for schools, announced in the press just hours before the start of...

    France: wide participation in strike action against the management of the health crisis in schools
  9. News 10 January 2022

    Eswatini: International trade union cooperation and solidarity to support educators

    International trade union cooperation was at the heart of recent activities by the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT). It has successfully engaged with the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) and the Trade Union of Education in Finland (OAJ). This cooperation will allow the Swaziland/Eswatini education union to strengthen...

    Eswatini: International trade union cooperation and solidarity to support educators
  10. News 21 December 2021

    Iran: Government must halt ongoing violations of educators’ rights

    Education International and its member organisations urge the government of Iran to allow teachers to exercise their right to request fair pay and the release of jailed colleagues without fearing violence or arbitrary arrest. The call follows the arrest of a teacher trade union leader and the ongoing detention of...

    Iran: Government must halt ongoing violations of educators’ rights
  11. News 15 December 2021

    Iraq: Reforms needed for quality education

    Reforms in education must be carried out efficiently and the government must prioritise improvements in education at all levels. That’s according to the Kurdistan Teachers’ Union (KTU) which believes that positive changes in society originate in the education system.

    Iraq: Reforms needed for quality education
  12. News 9 December 2021

    Francophonie: education and the trade union movement show their resilience in face of the health crisis

    The theme of the XVIIth meeting of the Comité syndical francophone de l'éducation et de la formation (CSFEF), which brings together the education unions of French-speaking countries, was “Schools as a vehicle for solidarity and development - if countries give themselves the means”. Participants noted that unions have been very...

    Francophonie: education and the trade union movement show their resilience in face of the health crisis
  13. News 8 December 2021

    Gabon: teacher trade unionists demand respect for social dialogue and government commitments

    Since 15 October, teachers belonging to the National Education Union (Syndicat de l’Éducation nationale - SENA) have been engaged in strike action in order to achieve their demands and ensure that the commitments made by the government are respected.

    Gabon: teacher trade unionists demand respect for social dialogue and government commitments
  14. News 6 December 2021

    Iran: Global education union community rallies around arrested trade unionists and demand their release

    As an organisation committed to trade union and human rights, Education International is demanding the release of Esmail Abdi and other arrested trade union leaders in Iran. There is a particular and urgent concern for Abdi’s health, severely affected after long imprisonment in dire conditions. During a meeting of Education...

    Iran: Global education union community rallies around arrested trade unionists and demand their release
  15. News 2 November 2021

    Forging global solidarity to safeguard rights

    The 58th meeting of Education International’s Executive Board (ExBo), held virtually on 26 October, was marked by a solid commitment to vaccine equity from education unions around the world. Access to COVID-19 vaccines for teachers and education support personnel globally is essential for a safe and permanent return to onsite...

    Forging global solidarity to safeguard rights