International solidarity helps Iraqi teachers organise
The Iraqi Teachers’ Union received a recent boost to its organisational efforts through a workshop organised by Education International's Arab Countries Cross-Regional Structure and the British National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers.
Twenty-five Iraqi Teachers’ Union (ITU) leaders and heads of ITU branches participated in a capacity building workshop organised from 6-7 September in Beirut, Lebanon, by the Education International Arab Countries Cross-Regional Structure (EI ACCRS). The informative workshop was organised in coordination with the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) which was represented by its international officer, Abdullah Muhsin and Fred Grindrod. The event was supported by a grant provided by the Australian Education Union (AEU).
This workshop, a preliminary needs’ assessment and introduction to organising, highlighted the importance of organisers within the union, what ITU needs to improve its organisers’ skills, and how social media can help recruit new members.
“Education International was founded on the fundamental principle that organised teachers and education employees could improve the status and the welfare of teachers and education employees,” EI ACCRS coordinator Huda Khoury told participants.
History demonstrates that independent and inclusive unions and the right to bargain collectively are essential to perpetuating those values in democratic society, she added.
Khoury also praised NASUWT for its assistance in organising and facilitating the event, which would help the ITU “to increase membership for a stronger voice and extend to more education employees the benefits of unionism in their country”.
The expertise of the Teachers Syndicate of Lebanon was also presented by Osama Arnaout, and working groups focused on how to organise new members and the need for qualified organisers within each branch of ITU.