During an intensive week of training workshops, lectures, and exchange of experiences, over 200 young teachers from all over Russia and neighbouring countries came together to discuss strategies for on-the-ground trade union work in the Russian Federation and beyond.
The Education and Science Union of Russia (ESEUR) organised this network meeting, aptly named the Russian Pedagogical School, for the fifth consecutive year. Meeting in Repino on the shores of the Baltic Sea, close to St. Petersburg, from 18-23 April, young activists engaged with union leaders, education experts and union staff to find ways of expanding trade union activities in their workplace and of attracting educators to join the union.
On the agenda
Issues affecting young teachers, especially those working in rural areas, were discussed, including social protection, workplace retention, and salaries. Professional development was also high on the agenda.
Different approaches, projects and solutions were discussed and shared by participants as well as external speakers. For example, trainers from the Jewish Museum Tolerance Centre conducted workshops introducing lesson plans on tolerance and the acceptance of others for pupils of all ages. Participants in these workshops subsequently received micro-credentials for professional development.
In addition, a varied cultural programme helped promote team building and brought participants’ creative energies to the fore. Events included an excursion programme to St. Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum and an evening event with Russian film star Svetlana Kryuchkova.
Galina Merkulova, ESEUR President and European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) Vice-President, congratulated the participants and highlighted the importance of work with young teachers for teachers’ unions. “Our colleagues starting their careers today are the future of our movement. Their enthusiasm and their vision of a high-quality teaching profession, and the fact that they are prepared to work hard for making that a reality is encouraging,” she said.