During a week of training, sharing experience and exchange, over 150 young teachers from all over Russia have come together to discuss strategies for on-the-ground trade union work in the Russian Federation’s roughly 60,000 schools.
The Education and Science Union of Russia (ESEUR) has been organising this network meeting, aptly named the Russian Pedagogical School, for the last four years. Young activists meet with union leaders, senior officials and union staff to find ways of expanding trade union activities in their workplace and of attracting educators to join the union.
In addition, for the first time this year, the union’s communications officers from ESEUR’s regional subdivisions joined the meeting to engage their young colleagues in discussions about more efficient communications with classroom teachers and greater use of social media in their daily work.
Last but not least, a varied cultural programme helped promote team-building and brought participants’ creative energies to the fore – for example, in light of the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, an excursion programme to Moscow museums commemorating the era (complete with a taste of food from a field kitchen); or an evening of songs and poems recited by participants, remembering the lessons learnt from the 20th century’s greatest struggle.
Galina Merkulova, ESEUR President and European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) Vice-President, congratulated the participants and highlighted the importance young teachers have within teachers’ unions. “These young colleagues are the future of our movement. They bring their enthusiasm and their vision of a high-quality teaching profession to the table, and are prepared to work hard for making that a reality”, she said.
The ESEUR's Russian Pedagogical School took place in Galycino, near Moscow, from 20-25 April 2015.