The Independent Union of Education and Science of Ukraine (VPONU) lost many organizations and members during the war. In Crimea and Luhansk , Donetsk and Kherson regions the loss is total There is also a partial loss in the regions of Zaporizhzhia , Lviv, Sumy , Kharkiv and Chernihiv.
Despite this, the union lives, works, continues to protect its members, helps the armed forces and carries out its work in accordance with the law of Ukraine (on trade unions, their rights and guarantees of activity) and the statutes of the VPONU.
In recent years, a new law on general secondary education has been adopted. This law provided for changes in the organization of the educational process, the appointment of directors of educational institutions and an increase in the educators’ salaries. But the changes have only gotten worse. Teachers' salaries have not been increased or raised to three minimum salaries, and the teachers' bonus is now determined only by the head of the institution, who can even be a person who has served a sentence for murder.
So there is no need to talk about improving the work of teachers, educators and educators in preschool institutions. During martial law, there were no reforms for educators.
During the war, many teachers went to the front and are serving in the armed forces. So there is a shortage of teachers and no one wants to work in preschools, especially for such a inadequate salary ($170 to $200).
And so is the situation in Kropyvnytskyi.
As for the students, they are trained under normal conditions, with the exception of the air akerts, when everyone goes down to the shelters, you know, the bomb shelters. . .
The independent union has always been committed to protecting its members and continues to do so. The only thing that has been added is the work with the soldiers, who are asking for help, and we, the trade unionists, must do everything to provide it.
This support includes food, equipment, cars, etc. VICTORY is the union's priority. And then we will figure things out.
Regarding cooperation, I can point out that almost all uranium miners [from the Kirovohrad region – editor’s note] are fighting in the Ukrainian armed forces, and we, including me personally, have very close ties with them. We are trying to help miners who are engaged in mine clearance in the Kherson region, because the military personnel who clear the territory have clothing that does not protect them.
That is why I insist that today we need uniforms, helmets, shoes, drones and cars, preferably jeeps.
Of course, we may also have the money to buy it locally or abroad. But it would be better if we just passed it on to them, and that would be a good thing. After victory, we will take care of the social and economic protection of the members of the Union. As of today, VICTORY is the main thing!
Independent Union of Education and Science of Ukraine (VPONU)
January 4, 2024
History of the independent Union of Education and Science of Ukraine(VPONU)
The independent Union of Education and Science of Ukraine was established on October 22, 2003 in Kyiv on the initiative of the member organizations of the Association of Trade Unions of Education and Science of Ukraine, which at some point left the Union of Education and Science of Ukraine and united into independent unions at the local level.
In 2005, the independent Union of Education and Science of Ukraine was recognized at the national level and legalized by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine.
The two years between the creation of the VPONU and its recognition show how the authorities opposed the creation of an independent union of educators for the whole of Ukraine.
In the course of its activities, the Independent Union of Education and Science of Ukraine represents and protects the professional, social and economic rights and interests of its members, in accordance with the Constitution of Ukraine, the Code of Labor of Ukraine, the Ukrainian on Trade Unions, Their Rights and Guarantees of Activity, and the Law of Ukraine on Trade Unions.
The independent Union of Education and Science of Ukraine unites trade unions established on a sectoral and territorial basis throughout Ukraine, with the aim of close cooperation and more effective exercise of their powers by trade unions.
VPONU is composed of unions and trade union organizations of education and science workers of Ukraine - general education schools, preschool and out-of-school institutions, research and teaching staff, and faculty of educational institutions Higher Education.
The balanced, active and determined position of the union leaders, the members of the presidium, the support and understanding of the complexity of the situation by the activists, the joint collective actions, the frank dialogue with the leaders of the affiliated organizations and work collectives, cooperation and reasonable compromises with the authorities contributed to the strengthening of the organization, the growth of unity and solidarity in the defense of the rights and legitimate interests of the members of the Union.
The stages of bringing internal work into compliance with statutory norms are congresses, conferences and councils of the union, which identify the priority tasks of the trade union committees, namely unconditional compliance with the provisions of the Charter, Ukrainian law " on unions, their rights and their guarantees of activity", the strengthening of internal discipline and organization, the guarantee of the solidarity of local organizations in the defense of economic, labor, professional and social rights, and the respect for human rights and human dignity guarantees for employees in the education sector.
The VPONU actively improves its work to encourage teachers to work conscientiously and efficiently, ensuring that the prestige of the teaching profession is raised, and organizes and participates in events aimed at honoring the best educators.
In October 2007, the extraordinary conference of the Union approved a new version of the VPONU statutes, bringing them into line with the Ukrainian law "On trade unions, their rights and guarantees of activity."
The delegates of the conference identified the priority areas of the Union's activities, and its organizational units supported the thesis that improving the quality of education in the country makes it possible to acquire important ideological, social, economic and technical knowledge and the basis for ensuring the quality of education is the socio-economic growth of the well-being of educators.
2004 - 2010. The independent Union of Education and Science of Ukraine focuses its activities on cooperation with the members of parliament, active participation in the budgetary process, work aimed at countering attempts by the government and local authorities to close and re-profile educational institutions. The Union coordinates the actions of local organizations to ensure effective work in the context of labor disputes between the union and the government, which have been accompanied by protests, including rallies in front of the Supreme Council of Ukraine [Ukrainian parliament] and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.
In June 2004, under the direct leadership of the head of the Independent Union of Education and Science of Ukraine, Volodymyr Fundovnyi, and with the participation of members of the VPONU, a protest action was organized to demand repayment of arrears owed to teachers under section 5 of the Education Act. 57 of the Law of Ukraine "On Education" for 1997-2002, which led to the recognition of the debt as public debt.
In September 2004, at the request of the Oleksandriya city organization of the Independent Union of Education and Science of Ukraine, Volodymyr Fundovnyi led a protest action - a march of representatives of the city organizations of Ukraine. 'Oleksandriya and Kirovohrad of the VPONU in Kyiv, calling for an end to the closure of educational institutions in the town of Oleksandriya. This action, with the assistance of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, resulted in the decision to end the closure of educational institutions in Oleksandriya and to resume their activities.
With the support of the Independent Union of Education and Science of Ukraine in cooperation with the Independent Trade Union Confederation of Ukraine (KVPU)
(January 2013), determined the priority areas of the union's activities and its sections . In particular, the delegates of the IV Congress of the VPONU unanimously supported the thesis that improving the quality of education in the state makes it possible to acquire important ideological, social, economic and technical knowledge, and that the basis for ensuring the quality of education is the socio-economic growth of the well-being of educators.
In 2013, at the VPONU congress, Volodymyr Fundovnyi was again elected president of the independent Union of Education and Science of Ukraine.
2015 - The Independent Union of Education and Science of Ukraine unites trade union organizations from 20 regions of Ukraine. The authority of the Independent Union of Education and Science of Ukraine is growing every year and is strengthened by the conscientious work and personal example of the members of the presidium of the independent Union of Education and Science of Ukraine.
The VPONU opposes the anti-popular pension reform, the draft of the Ukrainian labor code and the law on housing. It supports the maintenance of full benefits for 16 categories of the population and fights for respect for the Constitution of Ukraine and the legal rights of the wage workers.
The Presidium of the Independent Union of Education and Science of Ukraine, as the highest elected body of the union, organizes, between congresses, the implementation of congress decisions and the resolution of problematic issues constantly introduced by the government, the Ministry of Education and local authorities.
The history of our union proves without a doubt that we are strong when we are together, when we are united in our demands and our actions and in solidarity with workers of different professions. At the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century, we had the opportunity to see this more than once. This is why our slogan always remain very pragmatic:
"Unity is strength!”
It's no secret that a union is strong if it has strong, reliable networks, personnel and assets. Today, the Independent Union of Education and Science of Ukraine unites education workers' organizations in 22 regions of Ukraine. The activity in almost all local, regional and cityunion organizations contributes to solving the problems of education and teachers in modern times.
One of the main areas of activity of the Independent Union of Education and Science of Ukraine is the development of cooperation with international organizations and international sectoral associations.
The independent Union of Education and Science of Ukraine is a member organization of the world's largest association of education unions, Education International.
VPONU actively uses and disseminates the experience of unions from abroad, studies their achievements in the field of social and legal protection of education workers, interaction of unions with state bodies, and receives legal support based on international standards:
- ILO conventions;
- Resolutions and recommendations of the International Trade Union Confederation, ITUC;
- Resolutions, decisions and proposals from Education International.
January 4, 2024