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Georgia: Teacher trade union elects new president

Maia Kobakhidze, a teacher of mathematics - and leader of the Educators and Scientists Free Trade Union of Georgia (ESFTUG) Tbilisi branch - has been unanimously elected ESFTUG's new president.

The Georgian union held its regular congress in Tbilisi on 30 October and welcomed delegates from all over Georgia, as well as international representatives from Education International, the American Federation of Teachers, the European Union representative in Georgia, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and the American Center for International Labor Solidarity. Speaking about her priorities for Georgian teachers, Mrs Kobakhidze said: "This election is a confirmation of teachers’ trade union independence, freedom and internal trade union democracy. One of my first activities will be to try to re-establish the relationship between our union and the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia, based on internationally recognised principles of social partnership and dialogue." “We hope that the Ministry will begin cooperation in good faith with the new ESFTUG leadership. Our goals remain the protection of the interests and rights of our members, the promotion of high quality education, and the establishment of democratic, independent and free trade unionism in Georgia."

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