NASUWT Deputy General Secretary visits Ukraine to show solidarity for teacher unions

The NASUWT Deputy General Secretary Dr Patrick Roach, in his capacity as a member of Education International’s World Executive Board, is visiting Ukraine as part of an international delegation to show support for and solidarity with the country’s teacher unions and Ukraine’s democratic movement.

The trip has been organised by Education International (EI), the world federation of education unions with 30 million members from more than 170 countries around the world.

The delegation to Ukraine includes teacher union leaders from the USA, Poland, Denmark and Bulgaria, along with the UK. Meetings are planned with teachers’ organisations in the country, along with government representatives and EU and US officials based in Kiev.

The delegation is being hosted by the Trade Union of Education and Science Workers of Ukraine (STESU), which represents over two million educators and students in the country. STESU’s office in the famous Maidan Square in Kiev acted as a refuge for protesters during the recent uprising, and was destroyed by the police.

STESU has reached out to EI with a request for help in rebuilding the office and re-establishing communication with members across the country.

Dr Patrick Roach, Deputy General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, said:

"The situation facing teachers and their unions in Ukraine is extremely difficult following the brutal violence witnessed in the country in recent months. We will be talking to trade union colleagues to assess the situation, and work closely with international partners to coordinate appropriate support."

Fred Van Leeuwen, General Secretary of EI, said:

“We must help them get back on their feet as the teachers’ organisations of the Ukraine play a vital role in uniting the country and strengthening the democratic movement.”