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. Publications

    Trade union rights toolkit

    8 December 2022

    To support education unions everywhere in their struggle to defend their members’ rights, Education International has developed the Trade Union Rights Toolkit. The toolkit aims to equip education unions to formulate cases when their rights are violated and defend their cases based on the fundamental rights of the global community.

    Trade union rights toolkit
    1. Download
  2. Take action! 1 February 2023

    Myanmar : Global Action Day and solidarity for the return of democracy

    On the second anniversary of the military coup in Myanmar, Education International (EI) joined the Global Day of Action called by the Confederation of Trade Unions, Myanmar (CTUM) to demand for the formal diplomatic recognition of the National Unity Government (NUG) as the legitimate representatives of the people of Myanmar,...

    Myanmar : Global Action Day and solidarity for the return of democracy
  3. News 31 January 2023

    UK: Educators deserve a pay rise now!

    Education International and member organisations fully support the National Education Union (NEU), organising a one-day strike in England and Wales on February 1st to demand a fully funded, above inflation pay rise for educators.

    UK: Educators deserve a pay rise now!
  4. News 31 January 2023

    Israel/Palestine: Educators planting the seeds of hope

    During a four-day solidarity mission to Israel and Palestine, elected leaders of Education International (EI) and the US National Education Association (NEA) leaders met with governmental authorities, trade union activists, UN agencies and teachers. They also welcomed the agreement on the timely payment and increase of Palestinian educators’ salaries.

    Israel/Palestine: Educators planting the seeds of hope
  5. News 23 January 2023

    Morocco: unions and government sign agreement on unified status for teachers

    Social dialogue has led to the signing of an agreement between the Moroccan government and education unions on issues such as a unified employment status for national education employees. This new status will replace all pre-existing employment arrangements, which means a fresh start for all, contract teachers included, based on...

    Morocco: unions and government sign agreement on unified status for teachers
  6. News 23 January 2023

    Education unionists take stock of development cooperation in Asia-Pacific

    During a Development Cooperation (DC) Café on Asia-Pacific held on 12 January, DC partners learnt about the accomplishments in the region in partnership with member organisations. Anand Singh, Director of the Education International Asia-Pacific (EIAP) regional office, reported on priorities and challenges faced by the region as well as activities...

    Education unionists take stock of development cooperation in Asia-Pacific
  7. News 11 January 2023

    Nepal: Education unions agree to social dialogue with local governments

    After 8 months of campaigning, from 29-31 December 2022, Education International’s member organisations in Nepal – the Nepal National Teachers Association (NNTA), the Nepal Teachers Association (NTA) and the Institutional Schools' Teachers' Union (ISTU) – reached three separate agreements establishing mechanisms for social dialogue with the four Nepali local governmental...

    Nepal: Education unions agree to social dialogue with local governments
  8. News 21 December 2022

    Belarus: Education International denounces the political trials against union leaders

    Education International stands in solidarity with union leaders targeted in Belarus for their trade union activities and the anti-war stance taken by their organisation, the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions (BKDP), following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

    Belarus: Education International denounces the political trials against union leaders
  9. News 19 December 2022

    Ethiopia: Education union’s plea for peace

    During the Tigray war in Northern Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Teachers Association (ETA) condemned the damage and disruption inflicted on students, teachers and the education system. They called on relevant public authorities to put an immediate halt to the armed conflict, and highlighted the role of peace education in bringing about...

    Ethiopia: Education union’s plea for peace
  10. Statements 8 December 2022

    Human Rights Day: Education unions mobilise and organise in defence of human rights everywhere

    As the world marks 74 years since the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the struggle for dignity, freedom, and justice for all continues. Unions are leading this global effort, working together across borders and continents for the fundamental principle of human dignity.

    Human Rights Day: Education unions mobilise and organise in defence of human rights everywhere
  11. News 6 December 2022

    France: State education staff called to the ballot box for the social dialogue elections

    French education unions are currently campaigning for their social dialogue elections. The 1.4 million voters in the Ministry of National Education and Youth, the Ministry of Sports and the Ministry of Higher Education and Research are invited to vote by internet from 1 to 8 December 2022.

    France: State education staff called to the ballot box for the social dialogue elections
  12. Worlds of Education 28 November 2022

    #16Days | Woman, life, freedom!

    Khazar Lotfi

    The death of Jina Mahsa Amini, a young Kurdish-Iranian woman has sparked nationwide protests in Iran since September. Educators and students were amongst the first to go on strike in protest against the Islamic regime’s brutality and in support of Iranians fighting for their freedom.

    #16Days | Woman, life, freedom!
  13. News 21 November 2022

    Burundi: trade union development tools developed through international trade union cooperation

    Thanks to a cooperation programme with the Danish Union of Teachers (DLF) of Denmark, the Syndicat des travailleurs de l’enseignement du Burundi (STEB) has produced booklets that cover all the questions frequently asked by teachers at the grassroots level. The booklets are a Training Manual and a Handbook for Trade...

    Burundi: trade union development tools developed through international trade union cooperation
  14. Statements 10 November 2022

    Executive Board Resolution on Solidarity with Women and Girls in Iran

    On September 16th, 2022, Mahsa Amini was detained by a “Guidance Patrol” in Iran for allegedly wearing a loose headscarf and thus violating Iranian dress laws.  She was beaten and subsequently died. Her death sparked a furious response and protest among Iranian women and girls, who posted videos to social...

    Executive Board Resolution on Solidarity with Women and Girls in Iran
  15. News 4 November 2022

    Canada: Attacks on Ontarian educators’ trade union rights unleashes wave of solidarity

    Education unions in Canada and the world over have shown support for Ontario’s workers and unionists firmly opposed to a bill imposed by the provincial government that threatens school support staff with fines of C$4,000 (€3,000) a day for striking.

    Canada: Attacks on Ontarian educators’ trade union rights unleashes wave of solidarity
  16. News 26 October 2022

    Francophone education unions want to put governments back on track to achieve quality education

    The Comité syndical francophone de l'éducation et de la formation (CSFEF), which brings together trade union representatives of French-speaking organisations affiliated to Education International, held its 18th CSFEF meeting in Hammamet, Tunisia, from 13 to 15 October. The debates focused, among other things, on the conditions for trade union activity,...

    Francophone education unions want to put governments back on track to achieve quality education
  17. News 19 October 2022

    France: trade union front against the government reform of vocational

    Education International stands in solidarity with French education trade unionists who strongly supported the inter-union mobilisation on 18 October against the reform of vocational high schools.

    France: trade union front against the government reform of vocational
  18. News 13 October 2022

    Ethiopia: Trade union demands de-escalation of military hostilities and continued humanitarian assistance

    In a press statement to local media, the Ethiopian Teachers Association (ETA), affiliated to Education International officially called for de-escalation of conflict and an immediate return to cessation of hostilities in the wake of the resumption of militarised hostilities between federal defense forces and forces of the Tigray regional government....

    Ethiopia: Trade union demands de-escalation of military hostilities and continued humanitarian assistance