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Education and the crisis in Central and Eastern Europe . Guntars Catlaks Coordinator Research Education International CEE Roundtable | Novotel Centrum | Budapest, 22-23 Oct 2009. P urpose of presentation. Provide a preliminary analysis of EI follow-up survey on impact of crisis on education

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education and the crisis in central and eastern europe

Education and the crisis in Central and Eastern Europe

Guntars Catlaks

Coordinator Research

Education International

CEE Roundtable | Novotel Centrum | Budapest, 22-23 Oct 2009

p urpose of presentation
Purpose of presentation
  • Provide a preliminary analysis of EI follow-up survey on impact of crisis on education
  • Set the findings in context to other EI research and further documentation
  • Compare the impact of the crisis on CEE and Western European education sectors
presentation structure
Presentation structure
  • Survey design and purpose
  • Response rate
  • Cuts in Education
  • Salaries and non-salary benefits
  • Municipal level
  • School level measures
  • Stimulus packages and ODA
  • Two cases: Latvia and Ireland
  • Unions response and actions
  • Way forward
context
Context
  • Online update of impact of crisis on education worldwide
  • Follows EI January 2009 survey, which collated information from 40 countries worldwide
  • Based on assumption that impact now is felt worldwide
  • Tries to assess its forms more specifically
  • First results used in EI High Level Seminar in Warsaw, 2-4 September 2009
  • Deadline was 15 September 2009
  • Contributions continue to arrive
response
Response
  • Organizations from 36 countries filled on-line survey
  • 27 from Europe
  • 3 from Latin America
  • 2 from Asia Pacific
  • 2 from Africa
  • 2 from North America/Caribbean
  • More paper questionnaires were submitted by EI Latin American regional office
  • Case study from Ireland
cuts in investment in education 1
Cuts in investment in Education (1):
  • Many middle- and high-income countries significantly affected by the crisis, especially in CEE (UNESCO 2009)
  • Eastern Europe - countries have implemented budget cuts: Latvia, Estonia, Moldova, Romania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Hungary
  • VET and higher education more likely subject to budget cuts than primary education (UNESCO 2009)
cuts in investment in education 2
Cuts in investment in Education (2):
  • ‘Soft’ areas of education are most affected: language courses, arts, programmes for integration of minority groups, counseling
  • Delayed investment in non-salary expenditure (e.g. Infrastructural investments in Poland)
  • Teacher salary cuts (Lithuania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia) and salary freezes (Romania, Serbia)
  • Reductions in non-salary benefits (Estonia, Poland)
main findings from follow up survey 1 redundancies salaries and non salary benefits
Main findings from follow-up survey: (1) redundancies, salaries and non-salary benefits
  • In 7 countries there are cuts in salaries: between 3% and 20% in all levels, VET and higher education being most affected
  • In 22 countries disability insurance has been cut or reduced
  • In 4 countries retirement expenditures and pension schemes has been reduced
  • In 12 countries teachers have been laid-off because of crisis
main findings from follow up survey 2 increased role of municipalities
Main findings from follow-up survey: (2) increased role of municipalities
  • There is trend to devolve funding responsibilities for education on municipalities and/or private entities
  • In 7 countries (Romania, Estonia, Lithuania, Republic of Moldova, Poland) municipalities received greater funding responsibilities
  • In 3 countries private entities increased their role
  • In 2 countries both municipalities and private entities are increasing their share in education funding as a result of crisis policies
main findings from follow up survey 3 school level measures
Main findings from follow-up survey: (3) school level measures
  • Schools, in particular small public schools in rural areas, being closed, merged, or reorganised (Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Russia), in particular primary, secondary and VET schools

[W. Europe: public primary, secondary and VET schools similarly facing closure, merging and reorganisation (France, Iceland, Ireland, Spain, Sweden, U.K.)]

  • Class sizes expanded (Lithuania, Estonia)
  • In Croatia, tuition fees have been applied/increased
main findings from follow up survey 4 stimulus packages and oda
Main findings from follow-up survey: (4) stimulus packages and ODA
  • CEE countries have stimulus packages (e.g. Romania), but not focused on education
  • Latvia has announced reductions in ODA (UNESCO 2009)
  • Macedonia receives ODA, not reduced
slide12

Main findings from follow-up survey: (5) unions’ response and actions

  • In Croatia and Estonia, unions involved in (at least formal) negotiations with governments as a follow-up on the economic crisis
  • Unions involved with other NGOs and organizations in the context of economic crisis in their countries (Croatia - ongoing relationships among unions to provide public awareness of the economic crisis, Poland - with other unions, Romania - collaboration among unions primarily on policy issues, Estonia - Rectors\' Conference Estonian Cooperation Assembly, Lithuania - all four trade unions have established in July 2008 a coordinating centre and cooperate by solving different questions)
case latvia
Case: Latvia
  • Latvia faces one of the hardest budget cuts in education
  • 6 000 teachers were laid-off as from September 2009 (out of 35 000 in total)
  • Teacher salaries have been cut between 15% and 30%
  • More than 50 primary and secondary schools announced to be closed in 2010 (out of 800 in total)
  • Many VET institutions closed or reorganized
  • Civil servants salaries were cut by 15% in December 2008 and further 10% in June 2009
  • Pensions were slashed by 10% and by 70% for working pensioners
human face of crisis latvia
Human face of crisis: Latvia

We are living in pessimism and uncertainty. I’m not sure what we will do next. I have started to look for a new job. Started thinking if I should change my profession and move away…. BaibaČadore (29) teacher

case ireland 1
Case: Ireland (1)
  • Ireland’s economic boom imploded in 2008
  • The response of the State to this crisis is still emerging and largely consists of providing significant financial support to the banking sector and drastically reducing government spending
  • The government has committed itself to reducing public expenditure by over 13 billion euro over the next three years
  • The attack on the role of Trade Unions, and the broad equality agenda of the labour movement
  • The dominant message is that “everyone had a good time during the last decade, so we must all take the pain”.
case ireland 2
Case: Ireland (2)
  • Slash of financial supports for schools, including:
  • Financing for equipment for Science laboratories, school libraries and textbooks
  • Programmes to prevent early school leaving
  • Financing for school choirs
  • Financing for vocationally-oriented programmes and other less academic programmes which required additional teachers
  • Financing for migrant children needs
case ireland 3
Case: Ireland (3)
  • In terms of pay for all public sector salaries, the government imposed:
  • A “pension levy” of an average 7.5%; a pay cut by another name
  • Implemented a pay pause for 11 months
  • Non-payment of 3.5% pay increase in September 2009, agreed under social partnership
  • Non-payment of 2.5% pay increase in Spring 2010, agreed under social partnership
  • New additional 1% “income levy” on all salaries, public and private sector
case ireland 4 unions
Case: Ireland (4) Unions
  • Drawn the attention of society to the dangers posed to the quality of education system by the financial cutbacks
  • Focused on the injustice being done to young people who are denied basic tools for learning such as library books
  • Formed “platforms” or alliances with parents and school management authorities
  • Alliances with other trade unions, and organizing huge public meetings of members around such alliances
  • Sustained campaign called “There is a Better Fairer Way” which is uniting the public and private sector workers by arguing for a more just taxation system
main successes
Main successes
  • Increased awareness of union’s presence among members and society
  • Avoidance or reduction of salary cuts and lay-offs
  • Increased direct subsidies to municipalities for education
  • Inflationary salary increments
  • Implementation of social justice: more earnings – more cuts!
  • Commitment to wage increases in near future
  • Greater financial autonomy at school level
  • Increased impact on government. Alliances with other unions and civil society
main failures
Main failures
  • Reductions and cuts of education budgets, salaries and lay-offs of staff
  • Closure of public schools in rural areas
  • Worsening of working conditions for remaining teachers
  • Increasing non-satisfaction of parents
  • Inability to get full information on spending and stimulus
  • Low degree of media attention and objective analysis
  • Lack of engagement with government
  • Resistance of other unions to commit to joint platform of demands and actions
way forward 9 steps
Way forward: 9 steps
  • Continue to lobby governments for education spending
  • Encourage municipalities to invest in education
  • Launch campaigns “don’t let the children pay for crisis”
  • Engage in negotiations on salaries and working conditions at all levels of government
  • Monitor effects of financial cuts in education in society
  • Inform members and society about impacts of crisis
  • Form alliances with other trade unions and federations on budget issues
  • Organize protest activities at national and local level
  • Use international solidarity as a multiplying force
what is expected from ei
What is expected from EI
  • Provide data and knowledge on how other countries are handling the crisis
  • Spread our main demands worldwide: that education and research must be seen as investments not costs
  • Maintain and enforce global advocacy with international bodies such as EU, OECD, World Bank, IMF, UNESCO
  • Help to organize seminars and conferences for members
  • Give support in negotiations with governments – provide economical arguments
  • Organize international solidarity campaign
slide24

Thank you for your attention!

GuntarsCatlaks,

Coordinator Research

Education International

[email protected]

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