International Climate Strikes - information for members

By piofficer, Friday, 13th September 2019 | 0 comments

As you are aware, the Teachers’ Union of Ireland is continuing its public support for the efforts of our student leaders in relation to the International Climate Strikes. As you are also aware, TUI Annual Congress 2019 reiterated the Union’s support through the passing of Emergency Motion No. 1:

Congress instructs the Executive Committee to express public support for the second student global climate strike on May 24th and their ongoing campaign.

As part of the statement of support, Congress also instructs the Executive Committee to establish a climate change advisory committee to make recommendations and present concrete steps on how TUI can significantly reduce its carbon footprint and show leadership in tackling the current and future climate change crisis.

The TUI publicly supported the Second Student Global Strike on the 24th May 2019, including financially supporting the rally held in Merrion Square on the day, and is in the process of taking action on the establishment of an Advisory Committee.

The Trade Union community generally is also supportive of the cause and ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation) and ETUC (European Trade Union Confederation) are asking workers and their communities to join in the global week of action to coincide with the UN Climate Summit. This week of action will commence with a global student strike on Friday 20th September and will culminate with a global day of action on Friday 27 September.

Joint actions are being prepared in many places in collaboration with youth and climate movements, amongst others. The full list of events being organised during the week of action, to which individuals and organisations can sign up, is available at

This is a major mobilising moment and an opportunity to build momentum for climate justice in Ireland and globally. The TUI are, for our part, continuing engagement with the actions being undertaken by the students that we teach and continue to liaise with the Schools’ Climate Action Network (SCAN) in supporting and promoting their work. As a trade union representing educators, our aim is to stand with the school strikers, amplify their voices and support our students in every way possible. 

There are two key pieces of information

  • We are answering the calls of the strikers to come out and take action. Therefore, we must ensure that we do not speak over or for them. We are not organising the strikes- the students are. We are organising to support them and, in this regard, we are asking our members, and especially our members in management, to endeavour to facilitate their students in taking appropriate action and to be as supportive as possible in assisting our students in participating.
  • While many Trade Unions are supporting the strikes, legally we cannot call for a general strike. As such, our members are required to attend work on the day. Nonetheless, we are providing a number of suggestions for how our members may best show their support beyond facilitating their students’ participation in their action.

We will unite our actions under the banners #JustTransition for #ClimateAmbition on social media to show the support of the TUI, and the union movement, during the global week of action.

There are three types of action planned for the 20th September which will facilitate as many people as possible to show their support: 



Organised by?

Major School Strikes 

Dublin, Belfast, Cork

Organised and led by the three organisations of school strikers (see attached poster)

Local Strikes


Organised locally

Solidarity action – if you can’t strike your solidarity still means a lot!


Organised locally

The following is a list of supportive actions that our members can take, as well as facilitating their students:

  • Issue a statement in support of the climate strike
  • Share the call to action on your social media using the hashtag #ClimateStrike and follow @FFFireland and @SCANIreland
  • Prepare some materials for the day, including props for members to download and take a photo for social media for them to pledge their support for the young people taking strike action globally
  • Climate Proof the Workplace - Ask employers what climate action they are taking
  • Lunchtime gatherings, meetings and lobbies on the day to talk about climate action
  • Inviting students involved in the movement to address workplace or branch meetings and to write articles for trade union websites and publications
  • Calling on members to show support for the strikers using solidarity posters and pledges
  • Promoting the day by publicising to members in advance and, in particular, briefing members in schools on the climate strike movement encouraging them to be supportive of school students taking action
  • Planting trees as symbolic of the need to restore forests .

Please disseminate this invitation as widely as possible in your workplace. We would also like to encourage members to support this cause in any other manner available to them.

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