On 5th of April, General Secretary Bianka Stege took part in the Roundtable meeting of EFEE and ETUCE on promoting social dialogue in Madrid. This event brought together representatives from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports (former member of EFEE) and ETUCE members from Spain to jointly discuss how to improve social dialogue in education. On behalf of the Ministry, Mr Angel de Miguel Casas, General Director of Vocational Training, made an opening speech at the roundtable meeting and presented the current state of play of social dialogue in education in Spain. Furthermore the participants were updated by EFEE and ETUCE on the functioning and development of the European Sectoral Social Dialogue in Education. Ms de Los Angeles Gil Blanco, also from the Ministry of Education complemented her colleague by providing the participants with the key priorities of the ministry as well as current challenges in the aftermath of the financial and economic crisis in Spain. Both Spanish colleagues from the Ministry showed much interest in the work of EFEE and are open for further discussion and follow-up meetings in the future.
On 21 April, President of EFEE Michael Moriarty and Assistant General Secretary of EFEE, Sarah Kik, participated in the roundtable meeting in Riga. Representatives from the Ministry of Education and Science (member of EFEE) and the Latvian teacher trade union (member of ETUCE) were invited to jointly reflect and discuss their social dialogue in education. On behalf of the Ministry Ms Evija Papule, Deputy State Secretary – Director of Education Department and Ms Gunta Ar?ja, Deputy State Secretary – Director of Department of Policy Initiatives and Development provided insight in the social dialogue structures in the education sector in Latvia. Furthermore also Ms Laura Treimane, Deputy Director of Department of Higher Education, Research and Innovation contributed actively to the constructive discussions with union representatives on how to better link European with national social dialogue and how to improve the dialogue in the education sector. As inspiration, Michael Moriarty shared his national experiences on the challenges and opportunities of social dialogue in education in Ireland.