KSOiW NSZZ "Solidarność": Contributing to a brighter future for Ukraine 

Tomasz Gryczan, international policy coordinator of KSOiW NSZZ "Solidarność" and a member of the European Trade Union Confederation's Education and Training Committee, emphasised three main activities undertaken by members of his union to help refugees from Ukraine. 

"Firstly, my union decided to organise our 32 regions, our hotels and training centers for refugees from Ukraine. We organised accommodation for them — mostly women and children, places they could live in," he said. 

Also, each regional union branch has an office with specialists for the labour market who know what is required to get a job. NSZZ "Solidarność" also has a database with vacancies refugees can apply for. 

Refugees can ask for legal advice, Gryczan added, stressing that "our lawyers in every region support refugees and explain to them what kind of conditions they need to comply with. Sometimes refugees have registration problems with local authorities:' 

NSZZ "Solidarność" also organised a special fund for refugees, and collected first need items, supportive citizens giving clothes for example. 

Gryczan underlined that, secondly, the union engaged in social dialogue with authorities, "crucial in such a dramatic situation", advocating for inclusion and psychological support or refugees. "We started negotiating with the Ministry of Education in Poland to find the best legal framework for pupils from Ukraine. We proposed a flexible system which should include all children and suggested a psychological support for refugees, especially children. We also said it is crucial to change the curriculum and set up special training for teachers:' "On international cooperation, the education section of NSZZ "Solidarność", with ZNP, welcomed on May 4th the delegation of Education International and the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) —Education International's European regional organisation. The delegation with ETUCE President Larry Flanagan, ETUCE Director Susan Flocken, and Education International General Secretary David Edwards visited our office and we exchanged good practices," adding that his union met with European Commission's representatives in Poland, where it advocated increased funds from the European Union. 

The education union also recorded a solidarity speech with a TV video recording company. 

"Of course, the war has not ended, we are still monitoring refugees' needs, especially preparing for the new school year. Students and pupils should have the chance to go back to Ukraine. It is much better to rebuild the country when they have quality education, and we strongly believe that our education will also be one of the things that support Ukraine's future: Gryczan concluded. 

the things that support Ukraine's future: Gryczan concluded. 

source of information: https://www.ei-ie.org/

published: 8 september 2022

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