EI Member Organisation in Ukraine calls for Peace and Democracy
The following report was provided by TUESW, the major teachers’ organisation in Ukraine. It issued a statement on the current situation which is also published below.
“As to the trade union activities, special working groups were set up to find new premises for trade union offices and to see if it would be possible to retain the Trade Union House. An expert was commissioned to find out if it was possible to restore the building and to evaluate the cost of the restoration. At present, the Trade Union of Education and Science Workers of Ukraine occupies some rooms in the building of the union-owned Ukrprofozdorovnytsia (company managing trade union health resorts) and some rooms in the hotel Druzhba.
“On 26 and 27 February previously scheduled regular meetings of the Presidium and Council of the Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine were held. FTUU President Iurii Kulyk announced his retirement. FTUU Presidium accepted it and charged FTUU First Vice-President Grigorii Osovy to temporarily perform the functions of the FTUU President.
“Members of the FTUU Presidium and Council stressed that the national economy was in very difficult conditions. The main causes of the protests include unfair income distribution, low wages, discrimination against workers in the public sector, poverty among workers, large-scale youth unemployment, corruption in public authorities leading to public indignation. These issues need to be adequately addressed at all levels.
“Participants underlined that today’s political instability exacerbated the economic and financial crisis in the country and it emerged led to threats of closure in many enterprises, mass dismissals, delays and non-payment of wages, pensions and social allowances.
“Council members underlined the fact that trade union activities require profound modernisation, and rethinking of their role and place in the society in order to implement effectively their functions, rights and entitlements.
“The FTUU Council called on trade union organisations, and trade union leaders at all levels to use all their capacities and powers, collective bargaining and dispute resolution mechanisms in order to protect members’ rights and interests.”
Statement of the Trade Union of Education and Science Workers of Ukraine
in connection with foreign aggression
The Trade Union of Education and Science Workers of Ukraine vigorously condemns the military aggression of the Russian Federation in the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea.
Ukraine is a multinational state where more than 100 nationalities live peacefully. There were no ethnic conflicts in Ukraine for the 23 years of its independence, indicating a high public consciousness and respect for the rights of every nationality.
The Crimean peninsula is an integral part of our country. The attempt to separate this part of the Ukrainian sovereign territory is not only a violation of international law and security guarantees given to our country, it is an attempt to abolish democracy and freedom hard-won by the Ukrainian people.
Fundamental human rights, democratic values and respect for territorial integrity of other countries are the principles of peaceful coexistence and international relations.
The Trade Union of Education and Science Workers of Ukraine emphasizes that education has always been a unifying force for all nationalities.
Education is a public good and a fundamental human right that people fought for during many centuries. It is knowledge and education that should become a powerful weapon which can be used today to preserve peace in our country.
The Trade Union of Education and Science Workers of Ukraine calls the Education International, European Trade Union Committee for Education, teachers’ trade unions from other countries to support the aspirations of the people of Ukraine to live in a democratic and free country.
We mobilize all our efforts and call for the practical help of international institutions in order to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state. We hope that this support will be active, stable and concrete.
The Trade Union of Education and Science Workers of Ukraine is firmly convinced that any conflict in the twenty first century can be solved peacefully without the use of military force and with the help of international mediation.
Today, the unity and solidarity of educators from all countries is needed more than ever in order to help Ukrainian nation survive this incredibly difficult time when the country is on the brink between the peace and fratricidal war.
We cannot allow that the blood of innocent people is shed and Ukraine as a state is at risk of losing its territorial integrity and sovereignty.