The Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia addresses a request to administrations of public school to put existing practice concerning the participation in trade unions and dues check-off in compliance with the law requirements.
Based on the Georgian legislation, school administrations are required to have teachers’ written consent as well as contract signed between schools and trade unions in order to pay the membership fee. Namely, according to Paragraph 3 of Article 25 of the Law of Georgia on Trade Unions, “employer, administration of enterprise, company, organization, shall transfer membership fee from the employee’s monthly salary to the account of trade unions on the basis of personal written application of a member of a trade union, in accordance with the terms and conditions defined in the collective agreement.”
Therefore, any transaction that has not been made according to these requirements is considered as an unlawful act and affects teachers’ interests and their lawful rights.
According to the Paragraphs 12 and 14 of Article 3 of the same Law, a member of the trade union is a physical person (employee, temporary unemployed, retired person, student) who shares (agrees with) and fulfils a statute of the trade union and is enrolled in the trade union; while the collective agreement is an agreement between an employer, enterprise, company, establishment, organization and trade unions, that regulates labor, social and professional relations between the parties.
According to Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law of Georgia on Trade Unions, trade union is a voluntary public association. Moreover, the right of association of any person, including teachers in trade unions is guaranteed by the Constitution of Georgia. In particular, pursuant to Paragraph 1 of Article 26, everyone has a right to form and join public associations, including trade unions.
For that reason, the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia considers that any teacher is independent in deciding to join a trade union based on his/her own will. Respectively, any dues check-off should be carried out only with the teacher’s willingness and consent.
To this purpose, the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia will take all possible efforts to guarantee the protection of teachers’ rights and freedoms, in accordance with the Georgian legislation and universally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms.