Κεντρικό θέμα του συνεδρίου ήταν: «Διαμορφώνοντας το Μέλλον της Ευρώπης: Ο ρόλος των Εκπαιδευτικών Συνδικάτων».
Εκ μέρους των καθηγητών των δημοσίων σχολείων της δευτεροβάθμιας εκπαίδευσης της Ελλάδας θα ήθελα να σας καλωσορίσω στο στο Πανευρωπαϊκό Συνέδριο των Εκπαιδευτικών Συνδικάτων – Special Conference of ETUCE – εκ μέρους των εκπαιδευτικών της Β/θμιας Εκπαίδευσης της Ελλάδας. Με ιδιαίτερη χαρά φιλοξενούμε το συνέδριο αυτό στην πρωτεύουσα της χώρας μας και θα ήθελα να ευχαριστήσω την ETUCE που μας έδωσε αυτή την ευκαιρία.
«Εις μεν τον πατέρα μου οφείλω το ζην, εις δε τον διδάσκαλό μου το ευ ζην»
Which means that “to my parents I owe my life, to my teachers though, I owe my good living”.
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
On behalf of the secondary education public school teachers of Greece I would like to welcome you to the ETUCE Special Conference. We are pleased to host this event in our capital and we would like to thank ETUCE for giving us this opportunity.
ETUCE’s decision to hold this conference in Greece is a gesture of support to our education unions. We consider it to be also an act of solidarity to the Greek teachers who have been hit so viciously by fiscal consolidation programs, as most Greek people have in the last eight years. As a matter of fact, Greek teachers today are experiencing the dramatic impact of austerity budgets, both in and out of their classrooms.
-They have lost about 30% of their salaries on average. In fact the salaries of Greek teachers are of the lowest among their European colleagues.
-They have to work for many years in schools located in towns, villages and islands far from their permanent residence without any financial compensation.
- 40% of our secondary education teachers have to work in 2 to 5 different schools every week in order to complete their teaching schedule.
- Since 2010 our teaching staff has been reduced by 30% .
- And yet, recruitment of teachers in permanent positions has frozen since 2010. Governments have been hiring teachers on fixed-term contracts to ensure the basic operation of schools.
That having said, we have to admit that in the middle of all this crisis, our teachers are persevering and they are coping the best way they can under the circumstances.
Greek teachers and Greek schools, however, have become the living examples demonstrating that austerity has never been the solution to the economic and financial problems. Slashed education budgets undermine the future of our society. Poorly paid teachers cannot surely be efficient in their demanding work at schools. Poorly trained teachers cannot meet the challenges of the multicultural classroom. A rise in precarious employment and declining working conditions do not in any way keep up with the European Pillar of Social Rights EU leaders adopted in November 2017.
Instead, it becomes clear that Education should be exempt from policies and politics of austerity. This is why the theme of this conference becomes all the more relevant. As education unions we have to fight back. We need to claim our key roles in the years to come. Education and teachers are to be given priority beyond and above any financial considerations if we are to face recovery and maintain social cohesion in Europe.
We have to find the right ways to press on the governments so that ‘quality, public education for every student’ does not only stay on paper, but becomes a feasible target in every European country.
We need to act now because…..
- The future starts in our classrooms -- this is the motto underpinning our work in OLME and DOE and I would like to share it with you during this conference.