Thursday 11 December 2014

International Matters

The NUT International Solidarity Committee met yesterday and discussed a number of issues, including taking forward our work with Edukid and the General Union of Palestinian Teachers to produce curriculum materials which explore what life is like for Palestinian children suffering poverty and occupation. Further detail on this project is available in this post.

The committee also discussed Education International's Global Response to Education Corporations campaign which aims to tackle the companies making profits from the privatisation and commodification of education globally. David Wilson, Head of Organising, reported from the most recent meeting of EI's Organising Network on developments in the campaign, including the appointment of a Campaign Director.

The NUT has committed to supporting this vital campaign both financially and organisationally, and our aim is to get the broadest and deepest engagement of members in the campaign that we can. More detail on the campaign is available in this post and I will post updates as they become available.

Finally, the committee received a report from the NUT delegation to the ETUCE Special Conference in Vienna, of which I was a part.

ETUCE is the European Trade Union Committee on Education and is the European regional organisation of Education International. The conference was about the crisis in education, specifically, the impact of privatisation and marketisation on teachers and teaching.

Two resolutions were passed that committed ETUCE to setting up a working group on the future of the teaching profession and affiliated unions to campaigning across Europe against privatisation and austerity.

The conference was chaired by Christine Blower, NUT General Secretary and both Max Hyde (NUT President) and myself made contributions to the debate. I spoke in one workshop on the success of our Stand Up for Education campaign in situating our dispute over pay and conditions in a wider context of defending education. I also spoke in the main plenary session in support of a motion from the Greek and Portuguese teachers' unions to oppose privatisation and austerity across Europe. The Portuguese teachers' unions, FENPROF have taken a copy of my contribution to be printed in their newspaper in Portugal.

I took notes during all sessions and will post a full report here as soon as I get to typing them up and giving them some semblance of order!

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