Follow up roundtable and task group meeting for CATUS on: “Establishing of educational strategy for CATUS”

The ILO and ITUC PERC initiated the project “Evaluation of Trade Union Education”, which is a part of the ITUC general strategy whose orientations have been defined during the CEETUC conference in November 2005 and the PERC Program orientations, adopted by the PERC Assembly, held in March 2007, reaffirming the importance of education as a basis for trade union action. The CATUS joined the project in April 2007.

In the frame of the project an evaluation report on trade union education of CATUS was prepared that included all information collected by a questionnaire and trough interviews with the leaders, activists, trainers, as well as, information provided and discussed during the strategic workshop with CATUS that was held in December 2007.

Based on the discussion of the strategic workshop and evaluation report the ITUC and ILO joint forces in supporting a follow up strategic roundtable on: “Establishing of Education Strategy for CATUS”, as requested by the organisation. The roundtable was held on 11 of December 2008, in the CATUS headquarters in Belgrade.

The objectives of this thematic event was to (1) assess the situation of trade union education in CATUS, (2) identify priorities for Trade Union education in CATUS , (3) discuss and define strategy of trade union education in line with the reforms of CATUS and (4) hence the role and responsibilities of different structures of CATUS in the filed of trade union education.

The roundtable gathered twenty seven Trade Union leaders of different levels (confederal, branch and regional), youth and women section representatives, CATUS officers from the professional services in charge for Trade union education, information, research and other services. The roundtable was chaired by Mr. Dusko Vukovic, Vice president of CATUS. Ms. Agnieszka Ghinararu and Mr. Hubert Cambier, ITUC and ILO experts were key speakers on the round table. Mr. Jasmin Redzepovic, ITUC PERC SEE Office – Sarajevo attended the meeting on behalf of the ITUC and PERC.

The ITUC and ILO experts explained the concept of “Plan for Action”, linking the TU education with the priorities of the organizations, closely planed, evaluated and monitored by the trade union leadership and persons responsible for the trade union education.

The participants mentioned the importance of TU education as a part of the strategy of renewal of the organization and many good experiences on local, territorial and branch TU level were presented, stressing the importance of using innovative methods. The linkage of political priorities of the organization with the educational priorities was highlighted, since this would result into a more precise definition of the target groups and the target group and organizational needs.

The participants of the Roundtable expressed great satisfaction about the RT program and the outcomes of the roundtable discussion, which will be continued in the frame of regional activities in SEE and at the national level in Serbia, with the support of the ITUC PERC and ILO.

On 12 of December 2008 a so called “Task group”, composed of a core team in charge for trade union education in CATUS (five persons) met with the ITUC and ILO experts and representatives to discuss the next steps (after the roundtable) and to plan them, to see what is lacking in CATUS regarding TU education and to discuss what kind of assistance is needed in order to set up well organized and well functioning educational system and program in CATUS. The task group is an inter-department Team for TU education, composed of a lawyer and economist from Social and Economic Department, a project specialist from International Department and 2 persons from the Development, Organization, Projects, Education, Information and Marketing. The leader of this team is to be nominated among top leaders of the CATUS. It is agreed that the Team will be working on the draft plan of education and terms of references for the work of the Team. Training for the Team members on methodologies and trade union topics will be organized in the future. The Team will be providing technical assistance in preparing documents related to education and organizational development for the CATUS Congress. The ITUC and ILO will after this successful activity continue its assistance to the efforts of the CATUS in this filed of Trade Union work.

/PERC SEE Office