Information about the Trade Union of Education and Science Workers of Ukraine
History and general information
The Trade Union of Education and Science Workers of Ukraine was established in September 1990, however, it continues the rich history of the teachers’ trade union movement in Ukraine whose origins date back to the beginning of the 20th century. The first national teachers’ union was set up in 1919 and underwent several reorganisations during next 70 years.
Now the Trade Union of Education and Science Workers is the major organisation of education workers and students in Ukraine. It is one of the largest and most reputed member organisations of the Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine. It organises school teachers, workers of pre-school children care facilities, educators, professors and lectures of higher education establishments, as well as administrative and support staff of education facilities and retired pensioners. As of beginning of 2016 the Trade Union had 26 294 primary organisations with the total membership of 1 678 674 members.
The Trade Union’s highest decision making body is the Congress, which is convened every five years. The last Congress held in November 2015 determined Trade Union’s priorities for the next period and elected Georgiy Trukhanov President of the Trade Union and two Vice-Presidents: Liubov Gharbarenko and Sergii Romaniuk. Its delegates unanimously supported the statement that quality education is of the paramount ideological, social and economic importance for the state, and the welfare of the education workers is fundamental for the provision of quality education.
The Trade Union’s highest body between Congresses is the Central Committee that is responsible for the implementation of Congress decisions and coordination of work carried out by organisational units of the Trade Union.
In its activities the Trade Union of Education and Science Workers aims to represent and protect labour, social and economic rights of its members. The Trade Union fights for improvement in education and science workers’ living standards, increase in their wages, decent working environment and social protection of students.
The Trade Union reaches its goals through the social partnership by means of negotiations, conclusion of the Sectoral Agreement with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and collective agreements in the interest of workers, participates in the development and implementation of the government education policy in the field of labour relations, wages, social protection and living conditions.
The Trade Union develops proposals to legislative and other legal acts regarding social and labour rights of teachers and lobbies for them. It also submits proposals in order to improve national legislation which regulates the activity of educational institutions and establishments and defines social status of teachers and workers of the sector.
There is a legal service and a technical labour inspection in the structure of the Trade Union's Central Committee and territorial organisations. They monitor the observation of labour legislation and labour safety in educational institutions, provision of decent work and learning conditions. The legal service of the Trade Union provides free legal assistance to trade union members.
One of the Trade Union’s priorities is the development of the cooperation with international and foreign organisations and integration into the international teachers' trade union movement. Since 1996 the Trade Union is a member of the international trade union confederation, Education International. It is represented in its regional elected body, European Trade Union Committee for Education. Bilateral cooperation agreements have been concluded with the trade unions of education and science workers of Belarus, Russia, Moldova, Georgia, Latvia, Azerbaijan, Poland and France. The Trade Union studies and disseminates the experience of foreign trade unions, their achievements in protection of education workers’ rights, relations with state authorities.
At the beginning of 2014 the Trade Union of Education and Science Workers of Ukraine as well as all Ukrainians faced one of the most difficult challenges in its history. Many of its members participated in Euromaidan events at the end of 2013 – beginning of 2014. The Trade Union House where its office was situated was turned into protesters’ headquarters and completely destroyed by the fire on 19 February 2014. All Trade Union’s documents, furniture, office equipment and supplies, communication means were totally lost. During the protests over a hundred Ukrainians were killed, including members of the Trade Union. Because of the annexation of the Crimea by the Russian Federation the Trade Union lost tens of thousands of members. Occupation of the part of Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts led to humanitarian disaster for many trade union members and children who were forced to leave their homes or remained living practically in conditions of war for the last two years.
In spite of these circumstances, TUESWU continued to struggle for teachers’ rights in conditions of the government’s austerity policy, it succeeded to prevent some cuts in teachers’ salaries proposed by the government.
In 2015, with the help of EI/ETUCE member unions’ donations to the Solidarity Fund and significant funds gathered by TUESWU members, the Trade Union once again obtained its home purchasing its own office. The Trade Union of Education and Science Workers of Ukraine is very grateful to teachers’ international community for moral, political and financial support in those difficult times.
In 2016 TUESWU activities were focused on the protection of its members in conditions of the ongoing reforms in the education sector, in particular in the VET where the financing system was changed with all the financial responsibilities shifting from the state to local budgets. Together with other Ukrainian trade unions TUESWU campaigned against austerity measures, against shock increases in regulated prices and communal tariffs, and for the reformation of the wage system including in the education sector in order to make teachers’ wages at least equal to the average wage in the industry. Another issue of concern was the trade union rights of students that were put at risk by the proposed new legislation.
In July 2016 the trade union started negotiation of the new national sectoral agreement 2016-2020 with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine.
Address: 6, Yaroslavska, Kyiv, 04071, Ukraine
Tel. +38 097 923 44 95
Fax. +38 044 462-47-46