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:' 

The international relationship between Independent Self-governing Trade Union “Solidarity” (NSZZ “Solidarność”) and trade unions from other countries date back to the early 1980s. In those days we realized that the support and help from other trade unions could be a significant power. It was the time that American citizens and trade unions gave us a helpful hand in technical, financial and organizational way. When the Martial law was declared by the communist government in 1981, a trade unions from Western Europe organized supporting rallies, protesting marches and founds rising for the interned unionists. The first foreign office of Solidarity was established in Brussels. 

National Education Section of NSZZ “Solidarność” is one of the founders of Education International. It is the largest international federation of trade unions, representing over 30 million members from 170 countries. The National Education Section participates, as the only union from Poland, in European Sectoral Social Dialogue in Education (ESSDE). We are a social partner in Advisory Committee for Vocational Training (ACVT). Our organization is also a member of the Educational Platform of European Center of Workers’ Questions (EZA), which takes place regularly in Poland (Gdańsk, Kraków, Zakopane). 

One of our basic activities in the European arena is preparation of statements and opinions on the law regulations concerning the teachers’ working conditions and European Commission projects promoting the youth education. This aspect of the Union activity is extremely important due to the significance of the European law and the influence of the Court of Justice of the European Union judgments on the national regulations. Another field of international cooperation is the exchange of information with our foreign partners. 

Building the image of professional and powerful trade union demands engaging in global issues. This attitude built the foundation of the Solidarity Union in 1980. Poland’s accession to the EU made various forms of cooperation in education section gain momentousness and developing integration of EU members makes this tendency increase. 

Tomasz Gryczan

International Representative


It ended the XX edition of the Summer Academy in Nowa Kaletka. It was co-financed by the National Section of Education "Solidarity", German Teachers' Trade Union (GEW) and the Foundation for Polish-German Youth Cooperation.

The main aim of this project is to create opportunities to personal exchanges of experiences.

For the twentieth time 36 participants from Polish and German trade unions had the opportunity to spend jointly two weeks in a rather busy way, during which not only they can develop language skills, but also it was an opportunity to conduct many discussions about political and educational issues.

This year (2015), we hosted a colleague from Ukraine (Natalia Bunda), who presented to us the situation in her country. We also had the opportunity to listen to the interesting lecture prepared by Professor Alicja Bortkiewicz from the Institute of Occupational Medicine in Lodz. She talked about the health of Polish teachers. Workshops run by the project participants were extremely valuable for the exchange of pedagogical experiences. They covered such kind of issues like: cultural achievements of both countries.

This year meeting was to be the last one! Fortunately, thanks to the people of the open hearts and minds and other circumstances we can pan other meetings. So you can say: "See you next year!".

The Council of National Education Section Of NSZZ Solidarnosc, in the absence of the response of Polish government to the request of 9% salary increase in 2015 for educational staff and all budget workers, continues the informative and protesting actions and the Council have decided to organize the extraordinary meeting of the Council as well as the members of the Trade Union, in front of the building of The Chancellery of the Prime Minister at 9th of December 2014.

The Council of National Education Section of NSZZ Solidarnosc, in preparation for the strengthening of industrial action, has adopted a resolution, the purpose of which is to conduct large-scale training action in strike procedures in schools and educational institutions. This knowledge can be used in a situation where the Polish Government will continue to stubbornly ignore the demands of the Trade Union Solidarnosc.

The Council of KSOiW NSZZ Solidarnosc, after a deep analysis of the examples of the violation of the educational and labor law which are coming from all over the country, have adopted the statement about free and ad hoc substitutions done by school counselors, teachers and school librarians, teachers of school clubs. The statement has been directed to the appropriate governing bodies. These types of substitutions are one of many examples of the violation of education law, labor law and criminal law by the directors and government. KSOiW Council appointed a special working group to analyze the collected information on the violation of human rights. The study will be presented to the Minister of Education Mrs. Joannie Kluzik-Rostkowskiej in the aim of intervening.

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If there is no bilateral negotiations on amendments to the Teacher’s Charter , "Solidarity" will strengthen the protest in educational institutions, including a general strike . The Council of the National Section of Education took this decision at an extraordinary meeting

The Council of the National Section of Education expects that scheduled for 20 November 2013 discussions with the Sejm Commission for Education, Science and Youth, will start the negotiation process so as to agree on any adjustments of the Teacher's Charter, provided for collective bargaining agreements. The informal meetings in the Ministry with the participation of local governments could not be regarded as negotiation and agreement. In the case of the lack of a good will to take the agreement, the National Section of Education "Solidarity" whet the form of protest in all educational institutions, including a general strike .

The project of adverse changes in the regulation - the Teacher's Charter envisages drastic reduction of healthy leave and holidays, changes in the payment system , elimination of certain benefits and social allowances, transfer some competences of  the disciplinary committee for  teachers and teachers’ promotion to local authorities SKOiW Council welcomed the initiative of ZNP to join into the action to defense the Teacher’s Charter and Education Act . The Council expressed the hope that the implementation of measures announced by ZNP will strengthen the demands made to the Government by SKOiW  NSZZ "Solidaridarność" during the protests on 18 June and 12 September.
Looking at the harmful activities made by Polish Government which have a negative effect on Polish schools and lower the opinion about teachers, solidarity of the entire education community is necessary.

Ryszard Proksa

National Education Section NSZZ "Solidarność"

If there is no bilateral negotiations on amendments to the Teacher’s Charter , "Solidarity" will strengthen the protest in educational institutions, including a general strike . The Council of the National Section of Education took this decision at an extraordinary meeting.

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