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 13 September 2022

    Kosovo: Teachers’ strike for decent pay met with intimidation campaign

    Teachers in Kosovo have joined administration workers in a general strike for decent pay. Since the beginning of the strike on August 25, the Union of Education, Science and Culture of Kosova, Education International member organisation, has been the target of repeated attacks from a government that refuses to negotiate...

    Kosovo: Teachers’ strike for decent pay met with intimidation campaign
  2. News 13 September 2022

    Iranian teachers continue to face repression, despite recent release of union officials

    Last month, EI welcomed the release on bail of three Iranian teacher union activists. They were amongst the many teachers that have been arrested and detained since May Day in Iran. Despite the good news, the CCITTA and Education International call on the international teaching community to keep the pressure...

    Iranian teachers continue to face repression, despite recent release of union officials
  3. News 30 August 2022

    Ukraine: Trade unions strongly oppose new law that undermines labour rights, collective bargaining, and democracy

    A new law deprives as many as 70% of Ukrainian workers of labour protections, including their collective bargaining rights. Trade unions in Ukraine, including Education International member organisation, the Trade Union of Education and Science Workers of Ukraine, are dismayed at this push to undermine the rights of workers in...

    Ukraine: Trade unions strongly oppose new law that undermines labour rights, collective bargaining, and democracy
  4. News 20 August 2022

    Teacher strike in Norway!

    All teacher trade unions are now on strike in Norway. The two main reasons are the lack of qualified teachers, and salaries.

    Teacher strike in Norway!
  5. News 5 August 2022

    Ghana: unions win improved living conditions for public service workers

    The Agreement on a cost-of-living allowance (COLA) concluded on 14 July between the Government of Ghana and workers’ unions and associations within the public sector in this country gives all public sector employees increased remuneration.

    Ghana: unions win improved living conditions for public service workers
  6. News 2 August 2022

    Hungary: teachers’ unions win court case on strike

    The Syndicat des Enseignants de Hongrie (PSZ-SEH) and the Teachers' Democratic Union of Hungary (PDSZ), both affiliated to Education International, have had the strike that they organised in January 2022 for a pay raise for teachers and education workers recognised as legal by the National Supreme Court.

    Hungary: teachers’ unions win court case on strike
  7. News 27 July 2022

    Belarus: Education International denounces liquidation of independent trade unions and imprisonment of trade unionists

    Education International firmly condemns attacks on free trade unions by the authorities of Belarus as part of the long campaign to destroy democratic forces. On 18 July, the Supreme Court liquidated and dissolved the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions (BKDP) along with its four member organisations, three of which...

    Belarus: Education International denounces liquidation of independent trade unions and imprisonment of trade unionists
  8. News 20 July 2022

    Uganda: Government must put an immediate halt to the intimidation of teachers

    Education International has firmly condemned the intimidation of teachers currently taking industrial action led by the Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU), an organisation affiliated to Education International.

    Uganda: Government must put an immediate halt to the intimidation of teachers
  9. News 18 July 2022

    Global education union movement mourns Aloysius Matthews and celebrates his legacy

    Aloysius Matthews passed away peacefully on July 18, 2022. He was the Chief Regional Coordinator of the Education International Asia Pacific Region from 1996 to 2013. He was also the founding General Secretary of the National Union of the Teaching Profession, Malaysia and Regional Fund Manager for the Civil Society...

    Global education union movement mourns Aloysius Matthews and celebrates his legacy
  10. News 8 July 2022

    European educators reaffirm their commitment to enhance the status of the teaching profession for inclusive, peaceful, democratic and sustainable societies

    Confronted with turbulent times for teachers, educational staff and their trade unions, delegates at the Special Conference of the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE), the European region of Education International (EI), took a pro-active stand and reasserted their will to mobilise and organise for quality public education, for...

    European educators reaffirm their commitment to enhance the status of the teaching profession for inclusive, peaceful, democratic and sustainable societies
  11. News 7 July 2022

    Iraq: An attack on teachers leads to the destruction of society

    Strongly condemning the murder of two academics in its Iraqi region, the Kurdistan Teachers’ Union (KTU) has reaffirmed that an attack on teachers is an attack on education, which is the keystone of peaceful, healthy and sustainable society.

    Iraq: An attack on teachers leads to the destruction of society
  12. News 17 June 2022

    Afghanistan: International solidarity to face human and education rights violations

    International solidarity was reaffirmed at a webinar on Protecting the Right to Education of Girls in Afghanistan organised by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and Unite the Union. Participants took stock of the educational and trade union situation in the country.

    Afghanistan: International solidarity to face human and education rights violations
  13. News 9 June 2022

    Afghanistan: Union ensures the distribution of allowances to unpaid teachers

    The National Teachers Elected Council (NTEC) has played a key role in ensuring that UNICEF’s badly needed emergency funds reach teachers across Afghanistan and advocating for secondary girls access to education be reinstated.

    Afghanistan: Union ensures the distribution of allowances to unpaid teachers
  14. Statements 1 June 2022

    Afghanistan: The Taliban regime must stop its attacks on the teaching profession

    Education International condemns the abusive measures imposed by the Taliban government on universities and higher education institutions in Afghanistan. These measures are in clear violation of the principles of academic freedom and institutional autonomy, as enshrined in the 1997 UNESCO Recommendation concerning the status of higher education teaching personnel .

    Afghanistan: The Taliban regime must stop its attacks on the teaching profession
  15. News 25 May 2022

    Afghanistan: As the Taliban regime undermines education, peace and human rights, Education International and its member organisations step up their actions

    Education International’s Afghanistan Teachers’ Rights Observatory (ATRO), to be launched in September 2022, is the latest in a series of strong actions undertaken demonstrating the global education community’s solidarity with Afghan educators and populations, who are undergoing great hardship under the rule of the Taliban.

    Afghanistan: As the Taliban regime undermines education, peace and human rights, Education International and its member organisations step up their actions
  16. News 3 May 2022

    Afghanistan: reaffirming strong support for exiled trade unionists and for the return of democracy, freedom and equality

    Together with French affiliates and leaders of French national and international trade union confederations, Education International took stock of the catastrophic situation of democracy and education in Afghanistan under Taliban rule. It also reiterated its commitment to and solidarity with Afghan trade unionists who, despite being exiled in France, are...

    Afghanistan: reaffirming strong support for exiled trade unionists and for the return of democracy, freedom and equality