The Trade Union of Workers in Education and Science of Slovakia
Trade Union of Workers in Education and Science of Slovakia (,,Union") is an independent, apolitical and non-profit organization established in accordance with Law No. SNR. 83/1990 on association of citizens. The Union has currently more than 20,000 members - pedagogical, vocational and non-teaching staff at all levels and types of schools and school facilities. It is thus the second largest trade Union in Slovakia and the largest Union in the non-productive sphere.
The Union is a member of the Confederation of Trade Unions, Economic and Social Council of the Slovak Republic and founding and active member of international organizations, Education International and the European Trade Union Committee for Education. By law it is the social partner to the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sports. It conducts social dialogue with the government and employers and in the process of collective bargaining it defends and promotes the rights and legitimate interests not only of its members but all of the approximately 150,000 employees in education sector. It is based on the democratic principle of collective decision-making (Council of the Union and the Board of the Union) and built from the bottom, from its basic organizations at schools and school facilities.
The key attributes of the Union´s activities is the development of education in a democratic society, social and economic care, employment, education level, occupational safety and health protection and versatile interests and the legitimate demands of school employees. The Union is a professional association and uses knowledge and practical experience of its wide membership base in the process of consideration of bills and other legislation related to education.
For its members the Union provides free legal services in employment law and in the case of long-term membership also in civil and criminal litigation. The Union organizes excursion and educational tours called EXOD for its members and provides discounted leisure stays in their facilities in the High Tatras and Slovak Paradise. Inspectors of health and safety at work are also the part of the Union who helps schools and school facilities in remedying the deficiencies in HSW. An important activity of the Union is also providing accredited education programs for continuing education in which members enjoy financial advantage again.
The Union approaches its activities closer to the members by establishing the Association of primary education, Association of secondary education, and the Association of Universities and directly managed organizations together with the work of individual sections of the associations. The Union has created district and county councils of basic organizations according to structure of 3 associations that have proportional representation in decision-making bodies of the Union. The Union emphasizes the stability of the Slovak education and development of the education comparable with the western countries of the European Union. With efforts it contributes to the unification of the school environment and the formulation of generally acceptable requirements for improving the social and economic status of all employees in education sector. In its activities it uses mainly the means of constructive dialogue, negotiations and highlighting the systemic shortcomings. In extreme cases for the enforcement of the essential requirements it does not hesitate to continue with the organizing advocacy events, protests and strikes.