DAÜ-SEN Genel Sekreteri Ulaş Gökçe’nin Eğitim Enternasyoneli Kongresindeki Konuşması

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DAÜ-SEN Genel Sekreteri Ulaş Gökçe’nin 18-26 Temmuz 2011 Güney Afrika, Cape Town’da gerçekleşen Eğitim Enternasyonli Dünya Kongresi genel oturumunda DAÜ-SEN’in üyeliği konusunda 26 Temmuz 2011 tarihinde yaptığı konuşması şöyle:

Saygıdeğer Başkan ve Genel Sekreter,

Değerli kardeş ve kızkardeşlerimiz,

Sevgili yoldaşlarımız,

Öncelikle belirtmem gerekir ki Genel Sekreterin, Yürütme Kurulu adına sunduğu 2007-2010 faaliyet raporunda üyeliğimiz ve bu konuda Kıbrıslı Rum meslektaşların tutumuyla ilgili ifade ettiklerine eksiksiz katılmaktayız. Ne yazık ki Kıbrıslı Rum sendikacı hemşerilerimiz Enternasyonal üyesi bir başka sendika hakkında bir devlet kurumu gibi davranmakta, statükoyu, bilindik retorikle desteklemektedir. Bu büyük bir utanç ve üzüntü vesilesidir. Bizler burada küresel statükoya karşı hayatlarımızı riske atarak küresel bir cevap verme uğraşı içindeyken mahalli statükoya takılmış olanlar nedeniyle vaktimizi harcıyoruz.

Kıbrıs’a barış ve yeniden birleşme getirecek olan kullanılan bu savaş üslubu değildir. Ülkemizin geleceği için yeni bir dil ve yeni bir anlayış bulmamız gerekmektedir.

Kuzey Kıbrıs’ta bizlere karşı polis terörü sürerken, hakkımızda onlarca dava ve disiplin soruşturması açılırken, sendikacı olarak bizler tutuklanırken, sendikacılar ve üyelerimiz nerdeyse her gün polis dayağı yerken, okullarımız ve kurumlarımız kapanırken, üyelerimiz işsiz kalırken Kıbrıslı Rum hemşerilerimiz, en fazla dayanışmaya ihtiyaç duyduğumuz bu günlerde bizleri, dünyanın en büyük dayanışma mekanından, Eğitim Enternasyonalinden atmak için uğraş vermektedir. Bu hem Enternasyonal hem de Kıbrıs için çok üzücüdür.

Enternasyonalin hem merkez örgütü, hem üye sendikaların, hem de Dünya Kongresi verdiğimiz mücadeleye destek verirken kendi hemşerilerimizden böylesi bir yaklaşımı görmek bizi üzmektedir.

1984 yılından beridir Kıbrıs’ta barış, emek ve hak mücadelesinde en önde mücadele veren DAÜ-SEN, eğitim emekçilerinin uluslararası dayanışmasının örgütü Eğitim Enternasyonali’nin üyeliğine Kıbrıs’ta en fazla hakkı olan sendikalar arasındadır. Tarihlerinde barış, emek ve hak mücadelesi vermeyenlerin, mücadele nedir bilmeyenlerin bize karşı bu yaklaşımını kabul etmek mümkün değildir.

Sendikamızın, Kıbrıslı Rumların siyasi ve hukuki savlarına karşı savunması yazılı olarak görüşlerinize sunulmuştur.

Kongre’yi, Yürütme Kurulu’nun tavsiyesine ve sözlerine kulak verip Kıbrıslı Rum sendikaların başvurusunu reddetmeye çağırıyoruz.

Yaşasın emekçilerin enternasyonel dayanışması!

Yaşasın emek ve hak mücadelemiz!

Yaşasın Eğitim Enternasyoneli!

 

Eğitim Enternasyoneli Yürütme Kurulu’nun
DAÜ-SEN üyeliği hakkındaki raporunu

Education International

6th World Congress

Progress Reports

Congress Book 2A

Page no: 9-13

 

Appeal regarding the membership of DAU-SEN

Appeal, under Article 4 (c) of the EI Constitution, against the admission into membership by the Executive Board of DAU-SEN, Republic of Cyprus

 

1. The Republic of Cyprus is an island in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. It is attached to the European Region of EI. The island is populated by people of Turkish origin in the North and of Greek origin in the South. In 1974 the island was invaded by the Turkish army. As a result a border was established between the part of the island where most of the people of Turkish origin lived and the part where most of the people of Greek origin lived. The division of the island was not recognised generally by the international community. The United Nations intervened to stop the hostilities and various diplomatic efforts have been made to re-integrate the north and south of the island. In a 2004 referendum on the re-integration of the island the people in the northern or occupied part of the island voted in favour and those in the southern part against. The situation has been exacerbated in recent years, however, by the extent of Turkish Government-encouraged immigration by Turkish nationals to the occupied part of the island.

 

2. In accordance with the provisions of the EI Constitution, EI has followed the UN definition and recognised the island as a whole as the Republic of Cyprus. In 2006 EI had five member organisations on the island, two, KTOS and KTOEOS, in the North and three, OLMEK, OLTEK and POED, in the South. These organisations existed prior to the Turkish invasion. EI Europe and ETUCE endeavoured on a number of occasions over the past five years to encourage all of the unions to work together, especially at international level. Relations between the organisations in the North and the South have been reasonably cordial and members of the organisations have met at specially convened conferences. The Republic of Cyprus was represented on the EI European Regional Committee (and ETUCE Board) by a representative of the unions in the South until 2009, when the EI Regional Conference elected a representative of one of the unions from the North to represent Cyprus.

 

3. In August, 2006, EI received an application for membership from DAU-SEN, a union established in 1984 to represent the staff in a university, the Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU), which is based near Famagusta in the North of the island. The application contained all of the necessary information required and, on the basis of the information supplied, the union was adjudged by the secretariat to meet the criteria for membership. The EI Executive Board postponed consideration of the application on a number of occasions in the light of reports of developments in discussions between the unions on the island and the officers of the European Region. However, in accordance with standard procedure, all of the unions in Cyprus were invited to give their views on the application for membership from DAU-SEN. The two unions from the North supported the application. OLTEK and POED opposed the application because DAU-SEN was not registered with the Republic of Cyprus Union Registry Department. There was no reply at that time from OLMEK. The Government of the Republic of Cyprus does not recognise institutions established in the North of the island since the invasion in 1974. There is a requirement that unions register with the Republic of Cyprus Union Registry Department. Since DAU-SEN was established in 1984, after the invasion, it was refused registration. The Government does not recognise the university because it was also established after the invasion.

 

4. After lengthy consideration of all of the issues, the Executive Board decided unanimously at its meeting in September, 2008, to admit the union into membership under the terms of Article 4 of the EI Constitution. All of the existing member unions in Cyprus were advised of this decision by email on the 6 October. The then representative of Cyprus on the European Regional Committee, Mr Costas Hadjisavvas, General Secretary of OLMEK, was also advised of the decision to accept DAU-SEN into membership. On 23 October OLMEK advised that it had no information on the university in which the union stated that it represented staff and asked for the identity of the country in which the university was situated!

 

5. On 16 December, 2008, EI received a letter from the Ministry of Education and Culture, Department of Higher and Tertiary Education, of the Republic of Cyprus, which referred to the letter sent to Mr Hadjisavvas, and requested that EI ‘reconsider your decision to admit ‘DAU-SEN’ into membership and request that you proceed with a reversal of that decision with immediate effect’. Since EI neither seeks nor requires the approval of governments for its decisions on membership applications the letter from the Permanent Secretary of the government department was ignored.

 

6. The following letter, in similar terms to the letter from the Ministry, was received from Mr Hadjisavvas himself on 18 December:

Mr Thembelani Nxesi, President EI, Mr Fred van Leeuwen, General Secretary EI, Mr. Charlie Lennon, Chief Regional Coordinator, EI Europe

RE : Membership Application of DAÜ-SEN

Further to your letter dated 6th October 2008, by which you were informing me, as National Representative of the Cyprus educations member-unions to Education International 9OELMEK, OLTEK, POED) of your decision to admit to Education International the so-called Eastern Mediterranean University Union of Academic Staff (DAÜ-SEN) as of 1st October 2008, I would like to convey the following:

1. The “Eastern Mediterranean University” (“EMU”) is an institution operating in the part of Cyprus which is illegally occupied by Turkish armed forces since 1974. Turkish Higher Education Institutions and “Universities” operating in that part of Cyprus are operating under an occupation regime, namely the “law” of the so-called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” (“TRNC”). The “TRNC” is an entity which unilaterally and illegally declared independence in 1983. The United Nations Security Council adopted Resolutions 541 (1983) and 550 (1984), which state that the “TRNC” is a legally invalid entity and call upon all states not to recognise it nor facilitate or in any way assist its secessionist purposes. Furthermore, according to international and European legislation, the government of the Republic of Cyprus is the competent government of the whole island, including the occupied areas.

2. The “EMU” by subscribing to the “TRNC” regime is operating outside the rules and regulation of the competent authority of the Republic of Cyprus, which is the Ministry of Education and Culture. “EMU” is not an accredited Institution by the competent authority, in accordance with the Bologna process and the ENQA Standard and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area. Therefore, the diplomas it awards are rendered void.

3. Having in mind that the EU places strong emphasis on the quality of Higher Education, it should be underlined that in the Council’s and the European Parliament’s Recommendation on further European cooperation in quality assurance in higher education it is clearly stated that only the competent authorities may accredit programmes of study offered in their region.

4. Please allow me also to remind you that the Republic of Cyprus supported Education International’s application to become a Consultative Member of the Bologna Process after careful consideration of your constitution. Particularly Article 4 (b) (i+ii) of your constitution, which states: “any national organisation composed predominantly of teachers and education employees shall have the right to apply for membership and shall be admitted as a member of the Education International by the Executive Board, provided that […] the applicant is, to the extent possible, national in character and scope and representative of teachers and/or other education employees in its country. The term country is defined according to membership of the United Nations.”

5. As explained in point (1) above, “EMU” operates in and in accordance to the rules and regulations of an entity which has been declared legally invalid by the United Nations. “EMU” therefore and its so-called union “DAÜ-SEN” do not have the right to even apply for membership of the Education International.

6. The decision by the Executive Board to admit “DAÜ-SEN” into Education International, as of 1st October 2008, is in contravention to Education International’s constitution, to UN Security Council Resolutions and International law and practice.

7. For the above stated reasons, as the National Representative of Cyprus, I hereby invite you to reconsider your decision to admit “DAÜ-SEN”) into the Education International and request that you proceed with a reversal of that decision with immediate effect. Failure to do so will leave us with no other option than to individually and collectively appeal your decision to the World Congress by the rights vested in us by article 1(c)(1) of the ‘By-Laws of Education International’.

I am at your disposal for any further clarification you might need.

Costas Hadjisavvas, National Representative, (General Secretary of OELMEK)

Nicosia, 18th December 2008

 

7. On the 19 December the EI official responsible for Europe at that time replied in the following terms:

Mr Costas Hadjisavvas, General Secretary, OELMEK.

Dear Costas,

I refer to your letter regarding the admission of DAO-SEN into membership of EI.

The decision to admit DAO-SEN was taken by the Executive Board under Article 4 (b) (iii) of the EI Constitution which provides, in addition to the sentences which you quote in your letter, that ‘Exceptions to this provision may be made by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting at the Executive Board.”

In point of fact the union was admitted by a unanimous decision of the Executive Board. The Board was made aware prior to taking the decision that the organization was based in the occupied part of northern Cyprus. The decision was in accord with the provisions of the EI Constitution.

As you are aware EI has adopted a conciliatory approach in trying to address the problems of Cyprus. In the interests of promoting reconciliation on the island, at least between the teacher organizations, it has facilitated all of the Cypriot member organizations in participating in its activities and has supported initiatives to bring the teacher unions on the island together. It is in that spirit that DAU-SEN was admitted to membership of EI.

Kindest regards,

Yours sincerely,

Charlie Lennon, Deputy General Secretary, Responsible for European Matters

 

8. On the 20 January, 2009, the following letter was received from Mr Hadjisavvas on behalf of the three unions, OLMEK, POED and OLTEK, appealing to the World Congress the decision of the Executive Board to admit DAU-SEN into membership:

Dear General Secretary,

RE: Appeal to the World Congress of Education International, against the decision made in relation to the membership application of “DAÜ-SEN”

1. I address this letter to the World Congress of Education International as National Representative of the Cyprus educational member-unions to Education International OELMEK, OLTEK and POED.

2. We, the member-unions of Cyprus to Education International, wish to exercise the right vested in us by article 1(c)(i) of the By-Laws of Education International and invite you to consider this letter as an appeal against Education International’s decision to admit the so-called Eastern Mediterranean University Union of Academic Staff (DAÜ-SEN) as of 1st October 2008 as invalid and void according to the Constitution and By-Laws of Education International.

3. The member-unions of Cyprus were informed of this decision in writing, on 6th October 2008, without any prior consultation with the Executive Board on the matter as required by Article 4(c) of the Constitution of Education International, which states that “if an application is received from an organisation operating in a country in which Education International already has a member organisation, the Executive Board will consult with the member organisation(s) concerned before making its decision.”

4. Following a letter by the Cypriot member-unions on 16th December 2008, calling on the Executive Board to reconsider its decision and re-examine the relevant membership criteria, which ought to have been done so by appointing a Committee of Experts on Membership in accordance with Article 5 of the Constitution, the Executive Board has instead sent a letter as soon after as the 19th December 2009, failing to address any of our concerns.

5. In fact, that response indicated that the decision of the Executive Board was based on political motives regarding the situation on the island of Cyprus, which falls outside the remit and responsibilities of the Board and shows lack of impartiality and/or lack of due process.

6. We would hereby like to repeat our objections as member-unions of the Republic of Cyprus to Education International to the Board’s decision to admit “DAÜ-SEN” and wish for the World Congress to consider them in support of our appeal:

a) The “Eastern Mediterranean University” (“EMU”) is an institution operating in the part of Cyprus which is illegally occupied by Turkish armed forces since 1974. Turkish Higher Education Institutions and “Universities” operating in that part of Cyprus are operating under an occupation regime, namely, the “law” of the so-called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” (“TRNC”). The “TRNC” is an entity which unilaterally and illegally declared independence in 1983. The United Nations Security Council adopted Resolutions 541 (1983) and 550 (1984), which state that the “TRNC” is a legally invalid entity and call upon all states not to recognise it nor facilitate or in any way assist its secessionist purposes. Furthermore, according to international and European legislation, the Government of the Republic of Cyprus is the only recognised Government representing the whole island, including the occupied areas.

b) The “EMU” by subscribing to the “TRNC” regime is operating outside the rules and regulations of the competent authority of the Republic of Cyprus, which is the Ministry of Education and Culture. The “EMU” is not an accredited institution by the competent authority, as required by the Bologna Process and the ENQA Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area. Therefore, the diplomas it awards are rendered void and the teachers and/or other education “professionals” it employs, who might be members of “DAÜ-SEN”, do not enjoy any credence by the competent authority.

c) Having in mind that the EU places strong emphasis on the quality of Higher Education, it should be underlined that in the Council’s and the European Parliament’s Recommendation on further European cooperation in quality assurance in higher education it is clearly stated that only the competent authorities may accredit programmes of study offered in their region.

d) Furthermore, “DAÜ-SEN” is not a registered trade union with the Trade Unions’ Registrar of the Republic of Cyprus, in accordance with the Trade Union Laws of 1965 and relevant Regulations issued by virtue of that law, like KTOS and KTOEOS which are Turkish Cypriot registered trade unions of teachers in primary and elementary education respectively, POED, which is the Greek Cypriot trade union of teachers in primary education, OELMEK, which is the trade union of teachers in elementary education and finally OLTEK, which is the trade union of teachers in technical education.

e) “DAÜ-SEN” is also not national in character and in any case lacks any legitimate right to apply for membership to Education International.

f) The Republic of Cyprus supported Education International’s application to become a Consultative Member of the Bologna Process after careful consideration of its Constitution. Particularly Article 4 (b) (iii) of the Constitution, which states: “Any national organisation composed predominantly of teachers and education employees shall have the right to apply for membership and shall be admitted as a member of the Education International by the Executive Board, provided that […] the applicant is, to the extent possible, national in character and scope and representative of teachers and/or other education employees in its country. The term country is defined according to membership of the United Nations.”

g) The decision by the Executive Board to admit “DAÜ-SEN” into Education International, as of 1st October 2008, is in contravention to Education International’s Constitution, to UN Security Council Resolutions and international law and practice. It also ignores the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus, its laws and the legal competence of the educational authorities of the Republic of Cyprus and falls outside the Aims of Education International, as prescribed in Article 2 of its Constitution.

7. For the above stated reasons, as the National Representative of Cyprus, I hereby, on behalf of OELMEK, POED and OLTEK, member-unions of Education International, appeal to the World Congress and request that the Executive Board’s decision to admit “DAÜ-SEN” into the Education International is overturned.

8. Considering the serious nature of our objections and the reasons which have led us to this appeal, we request that the Executive Board’s decision to admit “DAÜ-SEN” as of 1st October 2008 is suspended until the hearing of this appeal.

I am at your disposal for any further clarification you might need,

Costas Hadjisavvas, * National Representative,

(General Secretary of OELMEK)

Νicosia, 20th of January 2009.

* Mr Hadjisavvas was replaced as national representative of the Republic of Cyprus by Mr Sener Elcil, General Secretary of KTOS, the Cyprus Turkish Teachers’ Union, at the regional conference in 2009.

 

9. As the letter of appeal contained a number of false allegations, the EI General Secretary replied to the letter in the following terms:

Mr Costas Hadjisavvas, General Secretary, OELMEK, 21st January, 2009.

Dear Costas,

I refer to previous correspondence regarding the acceptance into membership of EI of DAU SEN and specifically to your letter of 20th January, 2009, in which you state an appeal to the next EI World Congress regarding the said matter. I will place your appeal before the 2011 Congress in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, unless it is withdrawn prior to Congress.

There is no provision in the Constitution for suspending the implementation of a decision to admit an organisation pending the processing of such an appeal. Accordingly DAU-SEN is in membership of the Organisation and will be treated accordingly until the appeal is heard. The position will be reviewed in the light of the outcome of your appeal.

In the meantime you might like to consider withdrawing some of the inaccurate statements in your letter of appeal. Copies of the correspondence between your organisations and the EI secretariat (on behalf of the Executive Board) asking for your views on the application prior to its consideration by the Executive Board and your replies may be made available to the Congress.

The full text of Article 4 b (iii) of the Constitution and By-Laws, which you persistently fail to quote accurately, will also be made available to the Congress.

The Executive Board considered all of the information relating to the status of DAU-SEN when it made its decision to accept the organisation into membership at its last meeting. That is why it made the decision unanimously under the exceptional circumstances provided for in Article 4 b (iii). In such circumstances the provisions of Article 5 could not apply.

You might like to consult Article 10 of the EI Constitution regarding the role of the Executive Board. I think that you will find that it acted fully within its remit and within the provisions of this and the other relevant Articles of the Constitution in this matter. The Executive Board makes decisions which are political in intent on many issues at each meeting. This is part of the democratic process of governing the organisation.

You might also note that interpretation of the EI Constitution in accordance with Article 24 of that Constitution is ‘within the purview of the Executive Board’. Interpretation of the EI Constitution is not therefore a matter for individual member organisations, or their mentors in Government Departments, where such is the case.

Congress will be advised that you have involved a Government Department in this internal membership matter and that this Government Department has sent a letter to EI in precisely the same terms as yours. Such a letter raises questions about your organisations status as independent trade unions as provided for in Article 4 (a) of the EI Constitution.

Finally, I would like to point out to you that you may not act as Pan-European Committee national representative of Cyprus in this matter. There is no provision in the Constitution and By-Laws for such representations or appeals to be submitted by a Pan-European Committee national representative of member organisations. The position of national representative on the Pan-European Committee does not confer any right to represent member organisations outside of the Committee meetings. In any event, as national representative on the Committee you are also, of course, required to represent all of the member organisations in Cyprus, including those from the northern part of the country. There is no evidence that they share your views.

Yours sincerely,

Fred van Leeuwen, General Secretary

Cc General Secretary, POED; General Secretary, OLTEK; General Secretary, KTOS; General Secretary, KTOEOS; General Secretary, DAU SEN

 

10. It is the opinion of the Executive Board that DAU-SEN meets the requirements for membership of EI. It is a union representing education workers with a constitution which sets out a democratic structure and aims and objectives which are in accord with the aims and objectives of EI. It is the only union in the Republic of Cyprus which recruits and represents the workers concerned. Its position under the regulations of the Republic of Cyprus are not relevant. EI could not accept a position where its right to accept a union into membership was determined by whether or not it was recognised by the government of the country concerned.

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