Trade Union Education Strategy and Planning for BSPSH, Albania

The working group meeting on: “Trade Union Education Strategy and Planning for BSPSH” was organised as a follow up of the “Evaluation of Trade Union Education”* (ETUE) joint ILO-ITUC/PERC/ BSPSH project and of the Strategic Workshop that took place in March 2008 and that formulated recommendations for the future. In the meantime the BSPSH made decisions on its future Trade Union policy and structures, asking the ITUC and ILO for a follow up meeting. The working group meeting was held on 15 of January 2009, in Tirana.

The objectives of the working group meeting were to (1) to report about the different decisions taken by BSPSH to consolidate its education policy, (2) to discuss the Plan of Action to promote education in 2009-2010, (3) to define general orientations for BSPSH education strategy – and to define in particular the role of the prefectures and the professional federations in promoting education, (4) to discuss the role of the BSPSH Technical Board of education, (5) to discuss the different ways to support the trainers, and to activate the present trainers network, (6) to discuss the role of the women and the youth Forums, in particular in contributing to the development of the education policy of BSPSH, (7) to identify the capacities that BSPSH needs to implement its strategy and programmes and (8) to discuss how these capacities can be found (inside the organisation) or established (through external cooperation)

The working group meeting gathered fourteen participants: members of the BSPSH Technical and Political Board for TU education, representatives of the Institute of Labour and representatives of the Youth and Women’s forums. The working meeting was chaired by Ms. Hiqmete Daja, director of the BSPSH Education department. The ITUC – ILO team was represented by Mr. Hubert Cambier, ITUC and ILO expert who was one of the key speaker and Mr. Jasmin Redzepovic, ITUC PERC SEE Office – Sarajevo. The meeting agenda included: (1) presentations on the BSPSH decisions and planed activities, (2) the role of TU trainers, education coordinators and experts/researchers, (3) the participation of Women and Youth in education and the role of external cooperation and projects in building BSPSH capacities.

After the presentation of the recent BSPSH decisions on the consolidation of its education policy and structures – the creation of Education department and BSPSH Technical and Political boards for TU education and the establishing of decentralized networks of educators and experts on prefecture/regional level – a presentation of the main BSPSH political priorities was given by Ms. H. Daja stipulating (1) the importance of strengthening of the BSPSH leadership capacities, (2) recruiting new members, (3) active involvement of young and women workers into the Trade Union work, (4) defense of workers rights, particularly the right on occupational healthy and safety and the (5) EU integration. The BSPSH education department has started to prepare an electronic data base and a training program for members of the different education boards on regional and national level. The different BSPSH regional/prefecture decentralized education boards will be established till March 2009 and the regional coordinators will monitor and evaluate the education activities, providing assistance to the educators. The coordinators will be reporting to the BSPSH education department, which will report to the Political Board for education and the BSPSH presidency.

Specific youth and women education activities and campaigns are launched as a part of the BSPSH 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.

Mr. Hubert Cambier 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 which was intensively discussed.

The participants stressed that the linkage of political priorities of the organization with the educational priorities is of crucial importance for a successful education strategy, since this would result into a more precise definition of the target groups and organizational needs, which requires an approach of permanent education, well coordinated by the different BSPSH education Boards and its coordinators.

Following the presentations the participants discussed the various models and stressed that the KSSH education strategy has to be linked with the division of responsibilities between the federations, confederation and the regional structures that are currently under discussion in the context of the KSSH Congress preparations.

The working group participants expressed great satisfaction about the ETUE project and the outcomes of the working group discussion, which will be continued in the frame of the regional activities in SEE and at the national level in Albania. It was agreed that the ITUC and ILO will explore possibilities to provide technical assistance to the BSPSH in its efforts to develop and implement its trade union education strategy, in cooperation with other solidarity support organizations.

/PERC SEE Office

* 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 BSPSH joined the project in May 2007.

In the frame of the project an evaluation report on trade union education of BSPSH 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 BSPSH that was held in March 2008.