Ukraine: trade union met with the new Education Minister
On October 22, 2019, the first meeting between social partners, the Trade Union of Education and Science Workers of Ukraine and the new leadership of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and Parliamentary Committee on Education, Science and Innovations took place in premises of the Ministry of Education to discuss urgent issues in education and the ways to effectively solve them.
The Trade Union was represented by its President Georgiy Trukhanov and members of the Bureau. The Ministry was represented by newly-appointed Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine Anna Novosad and two Deputy Ministers. Head of the Parliamentary Committee, MP Serhiy Babak also attended the meeting.
The parties discussed a number of critical and emerging issues, in particular, the State Budget 2020 and its expenditures on education, usage of educational subsidies, improvement of education legislation, optimisation of schools’ network, teachers’ wages and other socio-economic issues. The issue of students’ scholarships was also raised by the trade union side.
Commenting the Draft State Budget 2020 President of the Trade Union Georgiy Trukhanov underlined that trade union was against the government’s budget proposals that could lead to the closure of about 3000 schools in Ukraine.
The President of the Trade Union also outlined the trade union demands to the Law on Education, in particular:
Public spending on education of at least 7% of GDP;
Increase in teachers’ wages in accordance with Article 61 of the Law, the lowest wage of a teacher should equal 4 living minimums with respective differentiation for higher categories
No dismissal of teachers who receive pension;
Prevention of the use of fixed-term contracts for teachers;
Prevention of the increase in the number of children in classes;
Prevention of the increase in the working hours of teachers;
Adequate financial support of state higher education institutions in accordance with the legislative norms.
Social partners agreed on further steps to ensure constructive cooperation in order to deal with challenges, protect the rights and guarantees of teachers and students.