Demostrations in Poland

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Dear Colleagues,

yesterday, on Sunday at 22:30, negotiations lasting over a week have ended with the government on raising teachers’ salaries. They ended in a fiasco. In connection with this, today, on April 8 at 8 o’clock in Poland the biggest strike in 25 years has begun. The strike is indefinite. 15 500 schools and kindergartens declared participation in it. Attached, we send you, dear Colleagues, our request for support.

Best regards,

Slawomir Broniarz

Demostration in Brussels

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Friday 26 April 2019 in Brussels. This large-scale demonstration is organised by the European Trade Union Confederation (see ETUC communication) for the European Parliament elections.

With a view to contributing to this demonstration with an education trade union bloc, raising awareness on our four key demands and making the teachers’ voice heard, we strongly encourage all ETUCE member organisations to participate in this demonstration.

In order to take part, please fill in this form and return it to before 10 April 2019. Please keep the ETUCE Secretariat informed of the number of representatives of your organisation.

Additional practical information will follow in due course.

  1. In support of your lobbying actions to candidates for regional, national and European elections, the ETUCE Secretariat has developed a set of questions you can use and adapt. We also encourage you to make use of the statement adopted by the ETUCE Committee in March 2019. You can download both from the campaign webpage:
  2. With a view to disseminate member organisation campaign actions, we invite you to share your initiatives and/or actions related to the ETUCE Campaign.

So far there has been confirmation to take part only by Vladimir Viies (on the account of TTÜ AAL).

Letter from ETUCE

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To: ETUCE Member Organisations in the EU, EU-candidate and EFTA Countries

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to inform you that the European Commission of the European Union is looking for nominations for awarding a best teacher or trainer in vocational education and training.

Please find the nomination form and criteria listed here:

We encourage our Member Organisations to nominate a teacher or a trainer of Vocational Education and Training to this award by carefully consulting the below criteria.

Deadline is 10 June 2019.

This award aims to identify a Vocational Education and Training (VET) teacher and/or trainer that has contributed to VET excellence through his/her personal and professional way of interacting with learners. Please note that the award does not go with a prize money.

The award is organised by the European Commission, in cooperation with the expert group “Platform of European Associations of VET Providers”, Obessu and ETUCE.


The award is open to VET teachers and trainers that fulfil the following requirements:
· They work in direct contact with learners in initial or continuous Vocational Education and Training
· They have obtained a written recognition/prize/award at their name as teacher or trainer in
their country, by a public or private body after 01.01.2016

· Applicants are resident in an EU Members State, a Candidate or an EFTA Country.
Teachers and trainers can apply themselves or be nominated by an organisation. In case an organisation is supporting their nomination, a recommendation letter can be uploaded in the application site.

The following criteria apply for this award:
The teacher and/or trainer:
1. Shows great results in student-centered teaching and a personal and professional way of motivating learners to try and get the best out of their education / reach a maximum
progression, including those with special needs
2. Shows a creative, innovative and consistent style in transferring knowledge and skills
3. Uses innovative learning environments, including digital ones (ex: e-learning, web learning, gaming, videos, tutorials, social networks, etc)
4. Encourages learners to learn for their life, employability and professional development, and first and foremost following their own interest and reach curricular requirements.
5. Is enthusiastic towards his/her profession or subject he/she teaches/ trains on.
6. Collaborates and engages to other teachers, trainers, and with possible local actors, including companies and training centers (peer learning)
7. Keeps his/her knowledge updated on pedagogic and professional developments
8. Stimulates the focus of practical learning within schools and companies, as well as with the local community.

The criteria are cumulative. This means that, on the basis of the presented evidence, the nominees will be the individuals that meet a maximum of the above criteria best . So, the applicant does not need to meet all the criteria, but the more criteria he/she meets, the better the chances to be selected.

Two nominees will be invited to Helsinki, Finland on 17-18 October 2019. Travel and accommodation to participate in the ceremony will be covered by the European Commission.

Applications for the VET teacher and/or trainer award must be submitted by filling in a form here

Kind regards,

The ETUCE Secretariat

March for Science

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Dear Science Marchers,

It’s time to march again. Over the last two years, our grassroots people-powered movement has organized nearly 1,000 events and mobilized millions for science and justice. We can’t stop now! Our leaders continue to delay climate action. Science continues to be sidelined at our federal agencies. Healthcare and education continue to be neglected. We need to keep making our voices heard.

Please join us on May 4th in New York City for our flagship march, hosted by the March for Science NYC team.

Why New York? NYC is a critical place to amplify our collective global message because it’s one of the most diverse cities in the world, has recently been impacted by a climate disaster, and is home to the United Nations.

Can’t make it to New York? Please join a satellite march near your location.

If a march doesn’t exist near you, we encourage you to organize one! Please sign up hereread these tips, and get in touch ( if you need any help.

We need a Green New Deal. We need healthcare and education for all. We need science and justice. There’s no time to waste. We need to do whatever it takes. May the facts be with you!

The March for Science Team

#ScienceNotSilence(Photos by Alena Dubavaya/Sarah Brooks, Gentry Lee, @TheSWU) 

How you can help:

  1. Join a march near you on May 4
  2. Promote the march on social media by sharing the NYC and global Facebook event pages and the hashtags #MarchforScience2019 #May4Science
  3. Donate to March for Science

UNIVERSITAS Petition to Estonian Political Parties

UNIVERSITAS presents this petition with a deep concern about Estonia’s science-based development, high-added-value future economy, employment opportunities for the Estonian research community and academics, and the persistence of Estonian language. Unfortunately, by 2019, the Estonian education system is coming to a crisis. This situation has been brought about by the approach to the education system not as a whole, but to the competing parts of each other.
UNIVERSITAS, based on its membership opinion, highlights the following issues to be resolved:

  1. Undervaluation of work in higher education (HE) system. Both the existing university laws and the entire legislation should address the education system and its subjects in a coherent manner, based on uniform social guarantees (e.g. vacation lengths).
  2. Exclusion of Estonian language from science and HE. Reduction of learning in Estonian and giving priority to foreign professors in agreements with universities – based on the h-indices omitting the Estonian publications and the needs of the country economy. Large amounts of Estonian taxpayer’s money have been spent to support the article-based formal science with little relevance to the Estonian economy and survival of the scientific community.
  3. Continuing decrease of researchers’ number. According to UNESCO statistics [Researchers-per-Million-inhabitants], this decline started in Estonia in 2012 and number has fallen 1.5 times below the EU core countries and 2-3 times below Scandinavia levels. If this trend continues, Estonia cannot maintain its position as a recognized IT country and also cannot finish the slump of the high-tech economy.
  4. Delay in the achieving of the 1% GDP level of public R&D funding stated in R&D and Innovation Strategy 2014-2020. The gap between Estonia and the EU high-tech countries with R&D funding of the range of 3 – 4.5% GDP will grow. At the same time, UNIVERSITAS considers necessary to emphasize that simple increasing of R&D funding does not improve the situation if the unreasonable system of allocating research funds remains unchanged.
  5. The recession of the innovative industry as a result of failed science policies. In the OECD ranking of innovative industry, Estonia has fallen to last position. EU smart specialization industry programs are only partially completed in Estonia [NSP status]. On 22 November, the President of the Estonian Academy of Sciences had to summarize the situation in Vikerraadio broadcast program so that science is very good but totally useless for the Estonian economy. This is the direct result of the dogmatization of the article-based science evaluation system.
  6. Continued decline in the share of technology funding as a result of scientific reforms of years 2006 and 2013. The changes have not worked in the interests of the Estonian economy. Compared to the last century, the relative funding for technical sciences has decreased 1.5 times, for agricultural sciences more than twice. As a result, for example, the position of Tallinn University of Technology in world universities ranking has dropped over 150 positions since year 2014 onwards [QS-ranking] and over 20% of academic staff have left the university.

ESTONIAN POLITICAL PARTIES – the political elite of the country, please put the ESTONIAN SCIENCE AND HIGHER EDUCATION Sustainable Development Strategy on the agenda as an urgent task! The replacement of the Estonian language in higher education with a foreign language must be stopped, also overexploitation of the h-index criterion that places the the local professorship in unequal competitive position, similarly the drop of number of researchers and high-tech specialists should be stopped.
PARTIES, make a strategic agreement on financing the Estonian science and education system as you did on defense strategy and funding. Estonia needs a unified balanced education system with a reasonable amount of foreign professors and foreign students but which is firmly based on ESTONIA’s long-term interests! The Estonian education system is the foundation of ESTONIA’s defense strategies and economic goals! Representatives of UNIVERSITAS are ready to meet with all parties in order to discuss the listed problems and the visions to solve them.

With hope for cooperation, with respect
Vladimir Viies
Chairman of the UNIVERSITAS Board


We have received a lot of support all over the Europe from ETUCE members. Thank you all for your support!

  • Jan Soons, Belgium
  • Peter Varša, OZPŠaV Slovakia
  • Dina Bacalexi, France
  • Gabriel Caldentey (Confederación STEs-Intersindical)
  • Mike Jennings
  • Emmanouil Androulakis
  • Joaquim Santos, Portugal
  • Jelena Tamuliene
  • Ruta Ziliukaite
  • Arturas Acus, Lithuania
  • Christian CHEVALIER
  • Dita Stefenhagena, Latvia
  • Autonomous Union Trade for Education, Science and Culture of Republic of Macedonia
  • Egidijus Norvaisas, Lithuania
  • Brigita Fricsone, Latvia
  • Irina Kostecka, Latvia
  • Asta Vaškelienė
  • Mintautas Čiurinskas
  • Irina Avdejeva, Latvia
  • Elīna Vārtukapteine, Latvia
  • Andrius Juodagalvis, Lithuania
  • SNESUP-FSU France
  • Paula Marinho, Portugal
  • João Marto, Portugal
  • Carlos Sá Furtado, Portugal
  • Maria Paixão, Portugal
  • Mário Cerqueira, Portugal
  • Margarida Antunes, Portugal
  • Júlio Mota
  • Yanka Takeva
  • Yordan Krasev, Bulgaria
  • Maria Bispo