OSSTF protests attempts to disband Ecuadorian teachers union

Dr. Rafael Correa
Presidente Del Ecuador Garcí
a Moreno N10-43 entre Chile y Espejo
Codigo Postal: 170401 / Quito – Ecuador

Dear President Correa

On behalf of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) representing over 60,000 teachers and education workers, I am writing to express our grave concern over recent measures taken by your government to disband the National Union of Teachers of Ecuador (UNE).

UNE, which celebrates its 72nd anniversary this month, has a long and distinguished record of working to improve teaching conditions and defend public education. OSSTF has worked with UNE in the past, and looks forward to continue to collaborate with the union in years to come on issues related to teacher solidarity, pedagogy and the strengthening of public education systems.

The threat to disband the UNE is the latest in a series of actions that your government has taken to suppress the Ecuadorean teachers’ organization. We find it deeply troubling that the Ecuadorean government would violate the international conventions it has signed regarding freedom of association in its efforts to extinguish the teachers’ union. It is particularly concerning that your administration uses the controversial Decree 16 to suppress the UNE, despite the fact that earlier this year, Ecuador’s representatives assured the International Labour Organization that the Decree’s stringent new regulations for NGOs would not apply to labour unions.

We had believed that the government of President Rafael Correa would treat workers with more respect than the neoliberal regimes that preceded him. We are disappointed to discover state sanctions against education workers and their organization have worsened under your administration.

Our organization joins with Education International and many other organizations around the world to condemn this act to silence the legitimate voice of Ecuadorean teachers. We urge your administration to rescind the dissolution order against the UNE, and to restore the basic labour rights that have been progressively stripped from the teachers’ union in recent years.

Yours truly

Paul Elliott
President, Ontario Secondary Schools Teachers’ Federation