On 13 and 14 June in Sofia was held the final conference of the joint project of ETUCE and EFEE: “European Sectoral Social Partners in Education striving for sustainable influence on European education policy building through successful social dialogue. The ESSDE capacity building project III”.
The impressive international conference is a part of “European sectoral social dialogue”(ESSDE) and it was organized for its strengthen in educational sector for achieving more active, constructive and effective social partnership.
PhD Yanka Takeva accented that “Only day before that, because of the conference, we signed the national collective labor agreement for the preschool and primary educational system. Because of the SEB’s policies, we achieved the support of the Prime Minister Boiko Borisov, the financial minister Vladislav Goranov and the minister of education and science Krasimir Valchev. We also achieved high level in financing and increasing the teachers’ salaries”. She also highlighted the importance of the social partnership and the union’s empathy in national and international level for increasing the teachers’ status, the quality of education and the prosperity of the society. She mentioned that “With the signing of the collective labor agreement I want to thank minister Krasimir Valchev who, in my presence, got engaged in front of the president of the ETUCE Christine Blower and the European director of ETUCE Susan Flocken, that in the eve of the international forum, which is held with the SEB’s hospitality, we will have a signed collective labor agreement.”
“In Bulgaria the education, and particularly the secondary education, is a high priority of the trade unions and the politicians” – said Plamen Dimitrov, president of CITUB, in his welcoming words for the guests. He highlighted that the government’s engagement for the education is connected with financial dimensions. He said that in the collective labor agreement there are clear responsibilities for the country about the salaries, the wellness of the teachers and their qualification and that this is achieved because of the constructive and dialogical actions and policies of SEB.
“I am glad that I have the opportunity to welcome you from behalf the minister of education and science Krasimir Valchev and from behalf the Bulgarian presidency of EU. Today the education is in the highest agenda in Europe and many governments of member states, in which is Bulgaria. When the expectations for quality, accessible and innovative education from the townspeople are growing faster than ever the good and constructive social dialogue is a key factor for success”.
Christine Blower, president of ETUCE and a moderator of the forum, which was two days long, is categorical that the role of trade unions and employers is the key of improving the honor of the teaching profession through dialogue in the community and raising the status of the teacher.
Michael Moriarty, president of EFEE, says that the aim and the point of the social dialogue is all of the social partners to work together and to form educated, qualified and well brought up in democratic values citizens of Europe. He expressed his confidence in the achieved results in the European sectoral social dialogue in the educational sphere.
In the forum took part also Susan Flocken – European director of ETUCE, Sarah Kik – international secretary of EFEE, Marina Kirova – European semester, European Commission – Representation in Bulgaria, 79 international union leaders from over 23 European countries, deputy president of SEB Krasimir Popov, experts from SEB’s headquarters, representatives of social partners in Bulgaria, etc.
SEB works hard and effective for the development and perfection of social dialogue from three decades and has significant national achievements and many international results. The European Committee for sectoral social dialog in education was started on 11 June, 2010 from ETUCE and EFEE and in November, 15, 2015 SEB organized international round table on topic “European sectoral social partners encouraging the potential of their dialog through transfer of knowledge and education”. SEB, joint with CITUB, developed “Tools of European social dialogue and the expanding of their usage in Bulgaria”, as the handbook was spread in all structures of the trade union, local and municipal level, in the system of the secondary education. In connection to enhancing and improving the effectiveness of the social dialogue, SEB conducts many researches related to teachers’ health and safety, overcoming with the stress, efficiency, the duration of the working day, the philosophy of vicarious budget, etc. The trade union actively works for perfection of collective labor bargaining and signing the collective labor contract, proof of which is the National collective labor contract of 11 June 2018 and other contracts of municipal levels in different regions of our country.
With its fruitful experience, international vocation and acting policies, SEB is active participant in ESSDE. The start of the program is a historical event because it includes the largest public sector in Europe in the system of the
European social dialog, with making the social partners co-legislators for their professional sphere in European level. The European social dialog in the education sphere is a key factor for achieving the new aims of the strategy “EU 2020”, because it unites the European employers and employees in the educational sector to set an agreement how to face the challenges in front of the sector.
At the final conference, which was held in the Bulgarian’s capital, was discussed essential questions and carried out policies for guaranteeing worthy and security workplaces for teachers, enhancing the healthcare of teachers, equality in inclusive educational systems, ways and resources how to make the teaching profession more attractive for young people, how to recruit and retain them in the profession, how to ensure the necessary support for the educational specialists through improving the quality of their professional development, etc.
The participants in the authoritative international forum discussed the Final document with Recommendations about the role of European social partners for quality development of the teachers’ profession, exchanging good practices and shaping the European policies for raising the status of the teacher and enhancing the image of the profession.
In the end of the forum Christine Blower, president of ETUCE, expressed gratitude to SEB and its president – PhD Yanka Takeva for the successful social partnership, which is held in Bulgaria, and for the excellent hosting of the international conference.
Svetla STRUMINA and Ivaila VASILEVA
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