International work makes us stronger

Union rights are human rights

Every year, people are killed and imprisoned for their union involvement. That is why it is important that we as trade unions stand up for our rights globally.

Clear trend: Workers' rights are being violated worldwide

In many countries, union involvement poses mortal danger to life. Members are subjected to threats, violence and harassment. The figures in the report Global Rights Index 2020länk till annan webbplats speak a clear language: democracy is under attack. The report was produced by the International Trade Union Committee (ITUC).

Our delegates at the congress of Education International 2019.

Our delegates at the congress of Education International 2019.

Our international work

The National Union of Teachers in Sweden (Lärarnas Riksförbund) is a member of Education Internationallänk till annan webbplats (EI), which is the world’s largest organization of teachers. EI has around 400 member organizations in 173 countries, which together organize over 30 million teachers and other staff in the education sector. Every four years, the Education International Congress is held, and The National Union of Teachers in Sweden participated in 2019.

The European Section of the EI is called the European Trade Union Committee for Education, abbreviated to ETUCElänk till annan webbplats.

Education International works for:

  1. the right to high-quality education for all people, through publicly funded and managed education systems;
  2. Strengthen the status and working conditions of teachers and others in the education sector by actively promoting human rights, trade union rights and academic freedom.
  3. Combat all forms of discrimination in education and society, whether based on gender, race, sexual orientation, age, religion, ethnic origin, etc.
  4. Promote understanding, tolerance and respect for diversity.
  5. promoting democracy, sustainable development, fair trade, basic social services and health and safety through solidarity and cooperation between member organisations, the international trade union movement and civil society;

Our network in Europe

The National Union of Teachers in Sweden is a member of Education International (EI), whose European department is called the European Trade Union Committee for Education, ETUCElänk till annan webbplats. It is a representative of the education sector vis-à-vis the EU, the Council of Europe and the Bologna process. In addition, ETUCE represents the workers' side in the social dialogue in the education sector in Europe.

Etuce's highest body is Congress held every four years. The last Congress in 2016 in Belgrade sent Europe's teachers a clear signal to take greater responsibility for professional development and to fight budget cuts, privatization, political overrides and xenophobia.

Nordic network

Nordic Teachers´ Council (NLS)länk till annan webbplats is an association of 18 teachers' organisations from all over the Nordic region. The National Union of Teachers in Sweden is also a member. NLS is not a formal part of the international trade union structure but a forum for cooperation and exchange of experience between the Nordic countries.

NLS has a board of directors where each member organization is represented. In addition to board meetings, NLS organizes sectoral meetings for pre-school, primary and secondary education. NLS also has a leadership forum and student forum that meets regularly, as well as a forum for the international secretaries of teachers' organizations. NLS is headed by a Secretary-General and the Secretariat is in Helsinki, Finland.

Contact: Katariina Treville, international secretary tel. +46 70 252 2729


Union rights are human rights

In several countries, the trade union movement and people's rights are under threat. We do not even have to leave Europe to see how trade unions are marginalised and the security and rights of employees are reduced. That is a clear trend. That is why international trade union cooperation is more important than ever.

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