Background information


ETUCE logo

Action plan for education unions

ETUCE and its Member Organisations commit to: * Campaigning, lobbying and promoting increased knowledge on LGBTI non-discrimination and equality and raising awareness on existing stereotypes.
That is one of the elements in ETUCE's Action Plan on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and the Strategy for Implementation.
ETUCE is the umbrella organisation of European education unions. In its latest meeting in November 2021, the members of the ETUCE committee adopted several draft policy documents, including the Action Plan and the Strategy for Implementation. Chapter 6 in the plan deals with Achieving equality for LGBTI students, teachers and education personnel to create safe, secure and inclusive learning environments for all. View and download it here in English, or if you prefer other languages, download it here.

European trade unions underline their role in LGBTIQ diversity issues

ETUC, the European umbrella organisation for trade unions in all public sectors, officially responds to the Strategy notification by the European Commission. This response is the result of an extensive consultation process towards which several European unions contributed. The ETUC starts with compliments and a remark about regretting that the role of trade unions, although previously acknowlegded in European diversity and anti-discrimination policies, is not mentioned in the Strategy notification. The document also introduces the protection of non-binary people, a category that is not mentioned explicitly in the Strategy notification.
The ETUC does not only comment on the situation at the workplace or the labour market; the Response also covers others policy areas, such as asylum.
Read the full declaration here.
ETUC cover image with colours

Celebrating IDAHOBIT

May 17th is the day to celebrate that the World Health Organization, in 1990, decided to cancel the mentioning of homosexuality as a 'mental disease' in its international classification of diseases. Therefore, the day has been chosen as International Day Against HOmophobia (IDAHO), later extended to International Day Against Homophobia, lesbophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).
On the occasion of IDAHOBIT 2021, the Network for DIversity and Inclusion of the Dutch teachers union AOB produced a small interview with Peter van Maaren, author of the book "My teacher is gay" (published in Dutch and English, in English by Paragon under ISBN-10 : 1907611576 or ISBN-13 : 978-1907611575.

Defending women's rights and LGBTIQ+ rights

EPSU, the European umbrella organisation for trade unions in the public sector, stongly condemns those governments that are using the coid-19 pandemic to limit women's and LGBTIQ+ rights.
In a statement, EPSU specifically mentions the Polish and Turkish governments. Recently, the Turkish government under Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, decided to leave the Istanbul Convention, which enshrines protections for women (and LGBT people) against discrimination and exploitation. In Poland, the government is promoting regional and local governments to sign 'LGBT free zone' declarations and is also planning a withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention. EPSU calls upon the other so-called Visegrád countries (Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovenia) not to be "lured by the Polish government's idea to withdraw from theIstanbul convention and to conclude a separate treaty which will give women and the LGBTIQ+ community fewer rights and protections." "A health emergency [...] should not be used as an excuse to limit human rights."
Read the full declaration here.
vintage solidarity poster with some colours

flag of Turkye with portrait of the mayor of Tunceli

Collective labour agreement with day-off for Pride

As you may know, the current Turkish government, lead by president Erdoğan, is not a supporter of LGBTQI rights. It appointed governors in all the Turkish regions who block any local decision to allow Pride marches, for instance. It appointed a new dean to the Boğaziçi University in Istanbul who does not tolerate any academic study or debate about sexual orientation or gender identity. It has left the Istanbul Convention (a treaty for the protection of women's rights) because it considered its content to be in contradiction with traditional family values.

And yet, not there are still some places in Turkey with a positive attitude towards LGBTQI rights. One of them is the city of Tunceli (or Dersim, in Kurdish). Its mayor, Fatih Mehmet Maçoğlu (portrait in the Turkish flag, see picture) recently finalised the new collective labour agreement with the civil servants union Genel-İş, a union affiliated to DISK. They agreed not only on a substantial raise in salary, but also on a day-off in the Pride Week for LGBTQI civil servants, a day off for female civil servants on International Women's Day (March, 8th) and an extra day-off on the International Day for the Elimination of Women (November, 25th).
Moreover, female civil servants in Tunceli/Dersim are entitled to one day menstruation leave per period.
Exceptional success! Congratulations to these Turkish friends.