A round table meeting was held today with theme “European Sectoral Social Partners in Education striving for sustainable influence on European education policy building through successful social dialogue.” This is part of a joint project coordinated by the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) and the European Federation of Education Employers (EFEE) with partners from Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal and Malta. The Malta Union of Teachers is the Maltese partner. This project aims at improving social dialogue processes and social partners’ capabilities to apply a culture of co-operation and debate as the necessary prerequisite for an effective national and European social dialogue, among other objectives.
In his intervention, MUT President Marco Bonnici spoke about the various forms of social dialogue held by the Union in many fora both nationally and internationally. He stated that locally there are various issues being faced by the MUT and ultimately by all trade unions, including the constant struggle to make sure that there are the right conditions for effective social dialogue on the various issues at hand.
“The right to take legitimate industrial action is being challenged, with prohibitory warrants and other means that effectively put a muzzle on trade unions’ rights. These are real threats that we are constantly fighting and we need to help each other, both locally and through international fora, to overcome these challenges and foster more comprehensive structures for social dialogues that protect trade unions and their members.”
In their introductory remarks, Paola Camilli on behalf of the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) and Daniel Wisniewski on behalf of the European Federation of Education Employers (EFEE) stated that they are keen to learn as all knowledge what’s going on in Malta and other countries can inform decision-making at European level with regards to social dialogue.
“European education social dialogue unfortunately is not particularly stable but we should be acknowledging our weaknesses, recognise what we have achieved and continue to build on it.”
Other speakers during the full-day round table included key stakeholders from the ETUCE, EFEE, ICF International, social partners from Greece and local stakeholders from Directorates at the Ministry for Education and Employment, the Institute for Education, Church and Independent schools and other trade-unions in the sector including the MUT as activity hosts.