Governance
The Network

IN BANGKOK, THE RES HOLDS ITS GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND CELEBRATES 10 YEARS OF THE NETWORK

Louise Magnard
November 3, 2019

The General Assembly of the Education and Solidarity Network was held on Saturday 20 July 2019 in Bangkok, on the fringe of the 8th Education International World Congress. More than a hundred trade unionists, mutualists and partners, including the representatives of the founding members, Education International, the General National Education Mutual Association, the International Association of Mutual Benefit Societies and the International Labour Organization (ILO) gathered on this occasion to celebrate 10 years of the network. The aims of the day were to revisit the activities of the Education and Solidarity Network and to obtain ideas and recommendations from the members for the coming years.

The General Assembly of the Education and Solidarity Network was held on Saturday 20 July 2019 in Bangkok, on the fringe of the 8th Education International World Congress. More than a hundred trade unionists, mutualists and partners, including the representatives of the founding members, Education International, the General National Education Mutual Association, the International Association of Mutual Benefit Societies and the International Labour Organization (ILO) gathered on this occasion to celebrate 10 years of the network. The aims of the day were to revisit the activities of the Education and Solidarity Network and to obtain ideas and recommendations from the members for the coming years.

Opening the day, the President of the Education and Solidarity Network, Matthias Savignac, recalled the reasons for the creation of the RES 10 years ago, powered by the momentum of the MGEN, Education International and the International Association of Mutual Benefit Societies with the support of the ILO: “The idea was to bring together the worlds of health and education, because we were and are still convinced that health and education are the pillars of human development and are interdependent”. 

The members of the network then presented the flagship projects of the RES which developed in the last years:

As a way to highlight the popular mobilisation tools at RES, Christian Chevalier (UNSA) described his successful experience in organising an Open Forum in his trade union and Gareth Young (NASUWT) told of his study trip in Scotland, a special period for sharing good practice.

The day was also an opportunity to share reflections on key topics of the RES, thanks to the organisation of a participatory workshop on the topic of “health and social protection of education staff”. Participants covered the following topics:

  • Stress, mental health and the workload of education staff
  • The health of pupils
  • The role of trade unions in extending health coverage
  • Access to health and mutuality

“100 years of social protection”…

Opening the afternoon, Victoria Giroud-Castiella, a representative of the International Labour Organization (ILO), laid out the activities of the ILO in the context of the centenary of the organisation and the “100 years of social protection” celebratory campaign.

Victoria Giroud-Castiella emphasized the fact that social protection was a human right and a social necessity, drawing on the centenary declaration of the ILO on the future of work, and mentioning theSustainable Development Goal 1.3, which calls for governments to “implement systems and social protection measures for all, adapted to the national context”.

After recalling that more than half of the world’s population does not have access to social protection, and that only 29% of the population is covered by full social protection systems, Victoria Giroud-Castiella highlighted the importance of the contributions of the Education and Solidarity Network to promoting the culture of social protection worldwide.

… and 10 ans of the Education and Solidarity Network

The emotional moment of the 10 year anniversary of the network was an opportunity to pay tribute to the people who have marked the life of the Network with their involvement. The President of the RES, Matthias Savignac, specifically thanked Jean-Philippe Huchet, Fred Van Leuwen, Agnès Breda, Elie Jouan, Duncan Smith, Sylvie Grasso, Nicolas Richards, David Edwards, but also Thierry Beaudet, Roland Berthilier Christian Zahn from the MGEN and AIM, and Christian Jacquier and Valérie Schmidt of the International Labour Office.

Members testified to the commitment, trust and hopes that they put into the network, through speeches or via video.

“Above all, I hope that the network maintains solidarity between people who in turn act so that other forms of solidarity develop.” declared Thierry Weishaupt, former General Delegate of the Network, whose “hot solidarity” expression was taken on by other participants to describe the specific link that motivates the members of the RES to work together, year after year.

Network General Assembly and presentation of the Strategic Plan

The second part of the afternoon was dedicated to the statutory aspects, and in particular, presentation of the 2018 activity report, the election of the new Governing Board and president, presentation of the new Strategic Plan for the period 2019-2023, and the welcoming of three new members to the RES, Gestarsalud, Adosen and Cemea-Haiti.

Before a celebratory cocktail, the president of the RES thanked and commended the commitment and energy of Romain Chave who is leaving his role as General Delegate after 3 years at RES. Good luck Romain!

 

The network team warmly thank everyone who participated in and contributed to the holding of the RES General Assembly. We thank the whole team of Education International for their hospitality and help in organising the event; Duncan, Petra and Ahmad in particular. 

All the photos from the day can be found here

[VIDEO::https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_s08hisD9o::normal]

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