Education International
Education International

Myanmar: educators’ right to collective bargaining on the line

published 24 March 2017 updated 3 April 2017

Education workers have called for a well-supported strike in order to pressure Myanmar’s public authorities to respect their right to collective bargaining, especially during holiday periods when family is the priority.

The Confederation of Trade Unions Myanmar (CTUM) have announced a mass demonstration on 26 March in protest at the Myanmar government’s surprise decision to reduce the Buddhist New Year’s holidays in April by half - from 10 days to five.

“This Buddhist holiday is practiced in Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, and public sector workers are not happy with the order,” said CTUM President Maung Maung.

No dialogue

He condemned the fact that no workers’ representatives were involved in the decision-making process over the holidays. And, he stressed that the reduction in leave impacts particularly those educators who work a long distance from their homes.

Six out of 10 CTUM members have agreed to the union’s call for a demonstration, Maung noted, with 5,000 members expected to demonstrate in front of the Town Hall of Yangon, the country's largest city.

Prospective affiliate

Education International (EI) is working with CTUM on organising and capacity building activities for teachers in Myanmar. The CTUM-Education Sector plans to register as a Federation this year and to affiliate with EI.