Support to Greek teachers from Union of Education Norway
Minister of Education
Union of Education Norway (UEN), organizing more than 150,000 members ranging from kindergarten to university level, is as Greek Federation of Secondary Education State School Teachers (OLME) affiliates to Education International (EI), the Global Union Federation representing 30 million teachers and education workers worldwide.
First of all Union of Education Norway will send its regrets and shows hereby the concern about the severe economic situation that your country is living through these days. We are afraid that the austerity cuts imposed to Greece are effectively destroying the welfare state with tragic consequences for education and society as a whole. The heavy wage and pension reductions, the expected mass lay-offs of teachers, the education budget cuts and other measures will probably cause severe problems in the future of the Greeks if not changes are made. Austerity has undermined trust in joint solutions at European level. Time has come to restore public confidence by reversing austerity and boosting public investment, including investment in education.
Nevertheless Union of Education Norway gives its full support to the Greek teachers and their union in their call to maintain their right to strike. Greek teachers fight to maintain their rights in the workplace for the quality of education. A good quality education system should be considered as the Government of Greece?s most important tool to handle the economic struggle and to secure the welfare of its citizen in the future.
Union of Education Norway believes that recommendations from international institutions such as the IMF, World Bank, European Union or development banks, should take into account the obligations of States concerning International Labour Organization Conventions. Collective agreements must be respected and any economic stabilization measures, particularly in relation to labour standards and wages, are only admissible on condition that they have been subject to prior consultations with workers? organizations and are applied as an exceptional measure and limited in time.
Union of Education Norway therefore urges the Government of Greece to safeguard the basic civil and democratic rights of its people. And we call on you Prime Minister and Education Minister to strengthen democracy by listening to the social partners through improved institutional social dialogue.
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