Diverse actions at European level
Among the many actions to be undertaken under the campaign banner will be decentralised ones organised by affiliates to coincide with the Global Action Week. The latter will be organised by the Global Campaign for Education, of which EI is a founding member, from 23-28 April 2012.
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EI affiliates have been urged to contribute to the general framework and appoint a contact person for the campaign. ETUCE will also carry out a survey amongst affiliates on the current impact of the crisis on education and working conditions, and organise solidarity campaigns in favour of specific countries where needed.
Direct impact on education
The 2011 ETUCE General Statement on the Economic Crisis took into account the direct impact of the crisis on education. Other ETUCE statements have addressed the greatest threats to education services in some countries, which are caused by their governments’ drastic financial austerity measures, particularly in Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Portugal and Romania.
In addition, ETUCE noted the need to explain and promote education unions’ views to the public as to who caused the crisis and how credible alternatives to government austerity measures can work. This is consistent with ETUCE’s advocacy role and it also illustrates clearly the negative impact of the economic crisis. It also helps to generate the will to change direction among the public and the policy makers.
The campaign will present a more united collective front amongst member organisations against austerity measures generally, as well as cross-border solidarity between member organisations.
The economic crisis will be a central issue in all Education International (EI) European meetings and activities in the run up to the 2012 European regional conference in November. This was agreed by the 2011 ETUCE Committee Meeting, in accordance with an EI management decision.
An ETUCE campaign will be initiated on the issue to help EI affiliates raise public awareness that the economic crisis was not created by working people and that it is wrong to expect working people alone to pay the bill. It is further targeted towards protecting education, and defending democracy and the European social model, with a view to preserving social dialogue.
Economy, education, democracy
The action and campaign framework is based on the following triangle: economy, education, and democracy. These are key values for EI/ETUCE affiliates. The framework is based on policy decisions adopted by ETUCE affiliates which are consistent with long-standing EI European policies and strategies.
Since the crisis developed in 2008, ETUCE and its member organisations have been actively participating in protests against further austerity measures, such as budget cuts, in the education sector and job losses.