TO: OLME, EI/ETUCE member organisation in Greece

20 January 2014

Ref.: MR/PC/9572


Solidarity with Greece: Troika?s hand off education

The ETUCE, the EI European Region, fully supports the Federation of Secondary School Teachers of Greece (OLME) by joining in solidarity its demand to stop the grave policy of seeking for solutions in Greece via memoranda between the government and the troika. The memoranda also affect the crucial sector of education to an unprecedented level. This approach is seriously undermining the recovery from the crisis and, more disconcertingly, the future of Greek generations.

The government?s implementation of the memorandum agreed with the troika of international leaders – the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the International Monetary  Fund ? is severely harming public education, threatening the access to a basic human right as quality education for all is, while undermining the basis of democracy. Time has come for authorities at all levels to be aware of the extraordinary and dramatic contradiction between the European plans for economic recovery based on the crucial role of Education on one side, and the dismantling effects of the policies agreed between national authorities in Greece and the troika on the other.

The ETUCE is appalled by the figures denounced by OLME on the effects of the austerity measures on education and deplores backward-looking austerity policies expected to result in additional deep cuts in public education spending, heavy wage reductions, massive dismissals, suspensions and compulsory transfers of teachers to administration posts, unacceptable closures of Primary and Secondary schools. These effects are not only increasingly wasting the quality of education but they are also leading to alarming mass student dropouts.

In the same way, ETUCE strongly denounces national rulings disrespectful of the voice of the social partners in Greece, and condemns the new law on education (4186/13) establishing examination-centered systems in all Upper Secondary and Vocational Lyceums, passed without any prior consultation with social partners, according to OLME.

The ETUCE warns the Greek government about the catastrophic effects of the memoranda policy in education, and joins OLME in asking for a democratic involvement of social partners in decisions that affect and jeopardize the future of people in Greece. The reinforcement of national social dialogue is the only way to fight back austerity, when social cohesion is under such a serious attack.

The ETUCE will continue to raise awareness on those dramatic figures at all levels, and to diffuse OLME?s demands for action to its member organisations, European institutions, here included the European Commission, the current President and Members of the European Parliament, as well as the candidates to the new European Parliament to be elected in May this year.

The ETUCE urges all the stakeholders in this crisis in Europe to take active measures and to intensify the efforts to exit the crisis without hitting any further the fundamental right to access public education in Greece, hence endangering the future of entire generations.

Kind regards,

Martin R?mer

European Director

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