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. Opinion 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. As the voice of teachers...

    #16Days | Woman, life, freedom!
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. News 11 October 2022

    Belgium: Common front of education unions announces renewed action

    After three successful actions in the last school year, which clearly demonstrated the frustration and anger of education staff, the common front of education unions is asking the government of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation (FWB) to respect the commitments it has made and is organising a one-day strike in schools on...

    Belgium: Common front of education unions announces renewed action
  9. Statements 10 October 2022

    Statement | Myanmar: Global Unions call for the release of jailed trade unionists and the recognition of the NUG

    The Global Unions, representing 200 million workers worldwide, call for the immediate release of all political prisoners in Myanmar, in particular the more than 60 trade unionists who have been unjustly incarcerated by the military junta since its coup in 2021. We demand the immediate dismissal of the trumped-up charges...

    Statement | Myanmar: Global Unions call for the release of jailed trade unionists and the recognition of the NUG
  10. Statements 8 October 2022

    Global Unions condemn the brutality of the Iranian authorities and demand the release of all imprisoned trade unionists

    The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC) and the Global Union Federations (GUFs) condemn the continued brutality of the Iranian authorities against their own people and call for stronger international pressure against the regime.

    Global Unions condemn the brutality of the Iranian authorities and demand the release of all imprisoned trade unionists
  11. News 27 September 2022

    India: Teachers demand the reinstatement of their old pension scheme under union management

    The All India Primary Teachers’ Federation (AIPTF) has taken a strong stand defending teachers and government employees fighting for their postretirement benefits, especially pensions, so that they can lead decent lives. Answering its call, union members and teachers protested in large numbers in over 20 Indian provinces on September 20th...

    India: Teachers demand the reinstatement of their old pension scheme under union management
  12. News 22 September 2022

    Iraq: Call for increased financial means for quality public education as new academic year starts

    Holding its 41st meeting in the presence of the Kurdistan’s Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Dr. Aram Qadr, the Kurdistan Teachers’ Union (KTU) Executive Council focused on the start of the new academic year and took stock of activities undertaken since they last met. They also called on...

    Iraq: Call for increased financial means for quality public education as new academic year starts
  13. News 16 September 2022

    Gabon: a favourable start to the 2022 academic year thanks to social dialogue

    Launching its trade union activities at the start of the new school year, national education union, SENA (Syndicat de l’Education Nationale) welcomed the progress achieved last year through social dialogue and called on the government to continue with the talks in order to resolve the issues raised by the union...

    Gabon: a favourable start to the 2022 academic year thanks to social dialogue
  14. News 15 September 2022

    Latin America and the world to celebrate Paulo Freire's legacy

    This commemoration will take place at the closing of the events to mark Freire's centenary in Recife, Brazil. Activities include the VI Meeting of the Latin American Pedagogical Movement and the Meeting of the Education International Latin America (EILA) Network of Education Workers.

    Latin America and the world to celebrate Paulo Freire's legacy
  15. 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