Ei-iE

Peter Marshall / Demotix Images
Peter Marshall / Demotix Images

Trade union rights are human rights

Trade unionists are far too often subject to attacks by repressive governments. Every year, many are subjected to violence, arrest and imprisonment, torture and even murder. Trade union leaders in education are targeted by non-democratic governments who seek total control of education, and deny teachers and education support personnel their rights.

Even in democratic countries, many education workers are denied the right to join unions and/or engage in collective bargaining. Where bargaining exists, limits on its scope can be imposed. Moreover, teachers and education support personnel are denied the right to strike.

Education International also supports the right of students to organise and join the fight for more inclusive and democratic communities.

Working closely with our member organisations, other global unions and human rights networks, we use supervisory mechanisms at the national, regional and global levels to ensure rights and standards are respected and social dialogue is effective.

Solidarity actions among our global membership are a powerful tool to advance rights everywhere.

Our work in this area

  1. News 14 August 2020

    Mexico: Union campaign focuses on students affected by the pandemic

    Mexican education unionists are launching a campaign so that teachers reconnect with students who dropped out of school during the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign also aims to help prevent students from leaving school because of the public health crisis.

    Mexico: Union campaign focuses on students affected by the pandemic
  2. News 12 August 2020

    Jordan: Take action for the immediate release of education union leaders

    Education International has launched an online petition in support of the imprisoned leaders of the Jordanian Teachers’ Association (JTA) and to guarantee the exercise of the fundamental rights of teachers and education workers in Jordan.

    Jordan: Take action for the immediate release of education union leaders
  3. News 12 August 2020

    Switzerland: Education unions join forces for safe return to schools and quality education

    In Switzerland, two affiliates of Education International have urged political and education decision-makers to approve the financial and human resources required to implement vital measures in schools, such as the introduction of health protection officers.

    Switzerland: Education unions join forces for safe return to schools and quality education
  4. News 6 August 2020

    EI Africa Region Adopts Indicators for school reopening

    The Education International Africa Region has adopted indicators for reopening of schools and other educational institutions and circulated them to member and partner organisations.

    EI Africa Region Adopts Indicators for school reopening
  5. News 5 August 2020

    Cambodia: Education International calls for the immediate release of arrested trade union leader

    Leading trade unionist and president of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions Rong Chhun was arrested on 31 July after voicing criticism of the government. Education International has protested the arrest in a letter to the Prime Minister of Cambodia, calling for the immediate release of Mr Chhun and for human...

    Cambodia: Education International calls for the immediate release of arrested trade union leader
  6. News 5 August 2020

    Mexico: SNTE Proposals for a Safe Return to Classes

    The National Union of Education Workers (SNTE) has presented a 10-point programme on the safe re-opening of schools to the Ministry of Public Education. The union is proposing a “hybrid” launch of the school year with a mix of distance learning and in-person education.

    Mexico: SNTE Proposals for a Safe Return to Classes
  7. News 31 July 2020

    Jordan: Education unionists arrested and union work suspended in government crackdown

    Jordanian security forces arrested leading members of the Jordanian Teachers’ Association, raided the union’s offices and shut it down for a period of two years. The global education community is outraged by this unlawful attack on our colleagues.

    Jordan: Education unionists arrested and union work suspended in government crackdown
  8. Opinion 29 July 2020

    "Education union drives for context-appropriate solutions to tackle Covid 19 challenges", by Shri N. Rangarajan & Dr. J Eswaran.

    Shri N. Rangarajan & Dr. J Eswaran

    In March 2020, the tropical heat was rising in Tamil Nadu, India. The teachers were in the thick of handling lesson planning, engaging with students and uploading our progress for the final term of the academic year in a buzzing school environment. The state government announced a complete lockdown in...

    "Education union drives for context-appropriate solutions to tackle Covid 19 challenges", by Shri N. Rangarajan & Dr. J Eswaran.
  9. News 28 July 2020

    Nepal: Union works to halt teacher dismissals, resume salary payments, and ensure safety of students and teachers

    In Nepal, an education union has highlighted how the COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to new challenges. These include non-payment of teacher salaries by some private school employers, the psychological impact of the lockdown on students, and the challenges of online teaching.

    Nepal: Union works to halt teacher dismissals, resume salary payments, and ensure safety of students and teachers
  10. News 28 July 2020

    India: Union calls for elementary school resumption to reduce digital divide

    An Education International affiliate representing elementary school teachers in India has called on the government to fundamentally shift its approach to education. The union voiced its concern over growing inequality stemming from distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    India: Union calls for elementary school resumption to reduce digital divide
  11. News 28 July 2020

    Philippines: State’s terror campaign against teachers must stop

    Education International strongly supports its Filipino affiliate in its struggle to see educators’ human and trade union rights respected. It condemns the use of harassment methods and anti-terrorism legislation to eliminate critical legal protections.

    Philippines: State’s terror campaign against teachers must stop
  12. News 17 July 2020

    Iraq: Education unionists alarmed about on-going violations of human rights

    The number of violations of human rights is rising in Iraq since the beginning of the widespread protests of late 2019 and during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Kurdistan Teachers’ union has denounced the fact that the Iraqi authorities, including in the Kurdistan region, routinely use vaguely worded laws to bring...

    Iraq: Education unionists alarmed about on-going violations of human rights
  13. News 17 July 2020

    USA: The voice of education professionals must be heard on safely reopening schools

    Education International’s affiliates in the United States have reasserted the need for public authorities to listen to the voice of educators and their professional organisations when reopening schools and education institutions, and to deliver proper funding for the education sector.

    USA: The voice of education professionals must be heard on safely reopening schools