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 6 November 2020

    Burundi: Trade union takes action to raise awareness of COVID-19 and to organise and improve the quality of education through international solidarity

    The Syndicat libre des travailleurs de l'enseignement du Burundi (STEB), thanks to financial support from Education International’s COVID-19 Solidarity Fund, was able to run an important awareness-raising campaign on taking protective measures against COVID-19 and on unionisation in schools, and to organise a conference to take stock of the situation...

    Burundi: Trade union takes action to raise awareness of COVID-19 and to organise and improve the quality of education through international solidarity
  2. Statements 5 November 2020

    Statement | Education International Welcomes the First International Day against Violence and Bullying at School including Cyberbullying

    No child should be afraid to go to school. But with one in three children bullied at school at least once in the last month, our education systems are failing students. The consequences are severe and far-reaching for individual students and for societies as a whole. To address this issue,...

    Statement | Education International Welcomes the First International Day against Violence and Bullying at School including Cyberbullying
  3. News 4 November 2020

    UK: Unions concerned as schools stay open during second lockdown

    The main teachers’ unions in the United Kingdom (UK) have a range of concerns after the announcement of a four-week national lockdown in England. With education settings to remain open, the unions have called for appropriate measures to be taken to ensure that schools are safe environments for students and...

    UK: Unions concerned as schools stay open during second lockdown
  4. News 3 November 2020

    DRC: Collaboration of education trade unions in the production of a guide on COVID-19 in schools

    Education International affiliates in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have embarked on a project to develop a guide on COVID-19 intended for teachers and to organise workshops on how to use it. The project has also raised awareness among teachers on the importance of unionisation.

    DRC: Collaboration of education trade unions in the production of a guide on COVID-19 in schools
  5. News 2 November 2020

    Colombia: Campaign Launched to Combat Death Threats Against Trade Unionists

    Renewed death threats against education union leaders in Colombia have prompted a global support and solidarity campaign in protest against the continued repression and deaths, which now number more than 6,000.

    Colombia: Campaign Launched to Combat Death Threats Against Trade Unionists
  6. News 2 November 2020

    Education International research and advocacy strategy grows in context of COVID-19

    Education International brough over 170 scholars, experts, unionists, and activists together to explore how research can underpin advocacy for quality education. The global group met at the 15th Research Network (ResNet) online meeting on 28-29 October.

    Education International research and advocacy strategy grows in context of COVID-19
  7. News 2 November 2020

    UK: Trade unions highlight the unequal impact of COVID-19 on students

    Disadvantaged children and young people, as well as students from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities will be given additional priorityby teacher unions in the United Kingdom (UK). The unions have reaffirmed their commitment to help mitigate the negative impact of the COVID-19 crisis on their students’ education.

    UK: Trade unions highlight the unequal impact of COVID-19 on students
  8. Statements 29 October 2020

    Statement | Global Day of Action for Care

    Unions and civil society mobilising to demand investments in care for building more inclusive, accessible, resilient, and caring economies.

    Statement | Global Day of Action for Care
  9. News 28 October 2020

    Belgium: Without consultation with unions, schools close earlier than planned for the holidays

    The Belgian teacher unions strongly reacted to the announcement by the government of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation to introduce distance learning for secondary school students from 28 October due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They were unhappy that they were not consulted and that teachers were taken by surprise and left with...

    Belgium: Without consultation with unions, schools close earlier than planned for the holidays
  10. Opinion 28 October 2020

    “Technology & education in a post-Covid era”, by Alison Egan.

    Alison Egan

    The Coronavirus (COVID -19) pandemic has ushered in a new era in education, where technology is now being used by educators to teach, connect and collaborate with students, parents and peers, all while working from their own kitchen table. Most educators have taken to this online pivot with energy and...

    “Technology & education in a post-Covid era”, by Alison Egan.
  11. News 28 October 2020

    Executive Board adopts resolution on the role of education in stimulating critical thinking and freedom of expression and promoting democracy

    The 56th meeting of the Education International’s Executive Board, meeting virtually on 27 October, adopted a resolution in support of teaching about freedom of expression, free discussion, and critical thinking, all of which equip students to be active citizens. The resolution was adopted following the atrocious murder of French history...

    Executive Board adopts resolution on the role of education in stimulating critical thinking and freedom of expression and promoting democracy
  12. News 27 October 2020

    Jordan: Banned union press conference the latest crackdown by government on teachers’ rights

    Education International condemns the banning of a Jordanian Teachers’ Association (JTA) public press conference scheduled for 26 October. The ban was imposed by Jordan’s authorities, with security forces delivering an order from the Governor of Amman to prohibit the union’s press conference. The JTA press conference was called to discuss...

    Jordan: Banned union press conference the latest crackdown by government on teachers’ rights
  13. News 26 October 2020

    Global Day of Action for Care: Education unions join global call for increased investment in the care sector

    On 29 October, the Global Day of Action for Care, Education International will join in the global trade union call for decent working conditions and fair pay for care workers. This global call recognises the enormous contribution to society being made by workers across the health, care, and education sectors,...

    Global Day of Action for Care: Education unions join global call for increased investment in the care sector
  14. News 23 October 2020

    Extraordinary Global Education Meeting reaffirms commitments to SDG 4 and calls for accelerated funding and global solidarity

    An extraordinary session of the UNESCO Global Education Meeting (GEM) took place today, 22 October. It was preceded by a technical meeting on the 20th devoted to policy preparation. The meeting focused on global priorities for recovery in education and accelerated action in order to make progress on achieving SDG...

    Extraordinary Global Education Meeting reaffirms commitments to SDG 4 and calls for accelerated funding and global solidarity
  15. News 23 October 2020

    Germany: Public authorities must align health measures in education institutions to infection rates

    The two largest teacher organisations and Education International’ affiliates, the Gewerkschaft Erziehung und Wissenschaft (GEW) and the Verband Bildung und Erziehung (VBE), and the Federal Parents' Council (BER, German acronym) remain critical of the education authorities’ plans for COVID-19.

    Germany: Public authorities must align health measures in education institutions to infection rates
  16. Opinion 21 October 2020

    “Africa: Collaboration between Unions and Governments for a Better Future in Education”, by Cherine Sabry.

    Cherine Sabry

    Unions and governments have been in conflict since the dawn of time. The mere existence of unions as a force to defend workers’ rights where governments fail to do so in and of itself leads to this conflictual relationship. In Africa, unions have rarely been consulted during the COVID-19 crisis...

    “Africa: Collaboration between Unions and Governments for a Better Future in Education”, by Cherine Sabry.