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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 2021-01-25

    Malaysia: Union calls for protection of teachers as frontline personnel

    The National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) has urged Malaysian public authorities to ensure the health and safety of educators delivering presential teaching to public examination students. This call comes after 11 teachers were infected with COVID-19 in the eastern state of Terengganu.

    Malaysia: Union calls for protection of teachers as frontline personnel
  2. News 2021-01-14

    France: Unions prepare to mobilise in face of uncertainty caused by COVID-19

    French education unions have called for a more robust and effective health policy as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. They are also seeking a recognition and improvement of educators’ working and living conditions.

    France: Unions prepare to mobilise in face of uncertainty caused by COVID-19
  3. News 2021-01-13

    Mexico: Irreplaceable role of teachers in the COVID-19 educational process

    As classes resumed across Mexico on 11 January, the Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (SNTE) took the opportunity to reiterate that educators are crucial to maintaining a sound education process and quality education despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Classes are being delivered remotely through the Learn at Home programme.

    Mexico: Irreplaceable role of teachers in the COVID-19 educational process
  4. News 2021-01-12

    Hong Kong: International trade union solidarity

    Education International joins other global union federations and the International Trade Union Confederation in welcoming the release of Hong Kong’s top union leader from jail and condemning the continuous harassment of trade unionists, including in the education sector, by public forces.

    Hong Kong: International trade union solidarity
  5. News 2021-01-08

    USA: Education unions condemn attack on democracy

    The National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) have reacted to the 6 January’s assault in Washington DC, where rioters encouraged by President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building during a joint session of Congress to certify the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

    USA: Education unions condemn attack on democracy
  6. News 2021-01-08

    Germany: Trade unions support extension of lockdown

    Education International’s German affiliates have backed the decision of the federal and state governments to extend the COVID-19 lockdown. Schools and day-care centres will remain closed, with some exceptions, until 31 January.

    Germany: Trade unions support extension of lockdown
  7. News 2021-01-07

    Morocco: repeated government attacks on educators’ human and trade union rights

    Education International is alarmed about ongoing violations of trade union freedoms and the rights and acquis of teachers in Morocco as reported by the Syndicat national de l'enseignement–Confédération démocratique du Travail (SNE-CDT).

    Morocco: repeated government attacks on educators’ human and trade union rights
  8. News 2021-01-07

    Iraq: Trade union rolls out additional training on distance teaching and learning

    Members of the Kurdistan Teachers’ Union (KTU) have participated in additional training to equip them with the knowledge and tools necessary for remote education. These skills have proven crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the training financially supported by Education International.

    Iraq: Trade union rolls out additional training on distance teaching and learning
  9. Opinion 2021-01-05

    “Taking Action to Keep School Pupils, Staff and Communities Safe in England”, by Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney (NEU, UK).

    England is once again in a national lockdown with Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcing on the evening of Monday 4 January that a third lockdown, including the closure of most schools, was necessary to address rising infection rates and the rapid spread of the new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus...

    “Taking Action to Keep School Pupils, Staff and Communities Safe in England”, by Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney (NEU, UK).
  10. News 2021-01-05

    UK: Education unions say governmental failure is responsible for new national lockdown in England

    On 4 January, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a national lockdown in England. This lockdown imposes new national restrictions which include the closure of schools and colleges except for the children of key workers and vulnerable pupils, as well as an immediate move to remote education.

    UK: Education unions say governmental failure is responsible for new national lockdown in England
  11. News 2021-01-05

    The Philippines: Trade union calls for greater resources for distance learning

    As in many countries during the pandemic, the Philippines shifted to distance learning modalities to enable education continuity. However, the remote learning programme met with problems of inadequate funding and issues of Internet connectivity and access to teaching and learning resources. The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), one of Education...

    The Philippines: Trade union calls for greater resources for distance learning
  12. News 2021-01-04

    Best wishes for 2021!

    Education International sends its best wishes to everyone from the global education community for this new year. With the COVID-19 pandemic still threatening lives, we will continue our struggle for a safe and healthy return to the classroom for teachers, education support personnel, and students. We will also do our...

    Best wishes for 2021!