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V Congress of the IAUTUO

Establishment and activities of the international association of university trade unions

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Presidium of the Council sought to preserve the organization in the new conditions, strengthen integration processes, annually organizing international congresses, strengthening the unity of the Association and the humanitarian ties of the universities.

At the congress in Kaliningrad in 1992, the Council of Chairmen of university trade union organizations was transformed into the International Association of University Trade Union Organization (IAUTUO). It was necessary to identify the main areas of work of the Association in the new period. Galloping inflation and the impoverishment of both the population and trade union organizations became one of the most difficult problems on the way of preserving the Association. In these conditions it was difficult to organize a meeting from a financial point of view. In addition, between the republics of the former USSR, all the intensifying centrifugal processes were outlined. A gap was also emerging in the organization of education systems.

Among the problems discussed at congresses of the early 1990s, quite new tasks of trade union organizations came to the fore: maintaining a decent wage level of employees and scholarships for students, preserving the social sphere of universities, maintaining a single educational space, ensuring social protection for members of their teams.

During this period, the meetings of the presidiums of the IAUTUO were held regularly: in Moscow, in September 1992; at the invitation of the chairman of the trade union of the Chuvash University, V. Vasilyev, in December 1992, a meeting of the Presidium of the IAUTUO took place, in which representatives of 4 states took part: Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine. The agenda and the venue of the next meeting of the IAUTUO were discussed. The meeting participants got acquainted with the Chuvash State University, with the work of its trade union.

In 1993-96, the meetings of the Presidium of the IAUTUO were annually held in February during the annual studies of the trade union activists at Moscow State University. They discussed the agenda of the next congresses of the Association, the participants exchanged experiences on current issues of the trade union movement.


V Congress of the IAUTUO

In May 1992, the Council of Chairmen of Trade Union Organizations was hosted by Kaliningrad State University, the chairman of the trade union organization of employees of Kaliningrad University Viktor Suvorov, and the chairman of the trade union organization of students, Irina Kletsko.

The congress was held on the Baltic Sea in the city of Svetlogorsk. 32 universities from 5 countries of the CIS – Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine took part in the congress. The participants of the congress were welcomed by the Rector of KSU Nikolai Medvedev. The delegates of the congress got acquainted with the recreation facilities of KSU and the Technical University of Kaliningrad.

At the congress, a decision was made to transform the Council of chairmen of trade union organization into the International Association of Trade Union Organizations of Universities (IAUTUO). Igor Kotlobovsky was elected Chairman of the Council of the IAUTUO – Chairman of the United Trade Union Committee of Moscow State University. The Statute of the IAUTUO was adopted and later registered.

At the congress, among the main tasks of the Association were: consolidating the efforts of universities of the CIS countries to protect the existing education system in their states; exchange of experience on social protection of members of trade union organizations; strengthening ties in the social sphere; interaction in order to organize recreation and cultural exchange by groups of university staff and students; protection of social, labor and other civil rights and interests of members of trade union organizations united by the Association; assistance in the preservation and development of the system of higher university education in the states of the universities – members of the Association and the implementation of their common policies in this field; creating conditions to meet the needs of members of trade union organizations in the Association in the field of their professional activities; exchange of experience in collective bargaining with authorities, employers and their associations in the interests of their members (member organizations) on their behalf; strengthening and development of the trade union movement, mutual assistance, cooperation, exchange of experience of the Association trade union organizations; protecting and assisting affiliates.

By the decision of the congress, IAUTUO was officially registered, the bank accounts of the Association were opened, and annual university fees were established. However, during this period, inflation was so high that the contributions were not even enough for an additional charge to the accountant for keeping accounts. Therefore, it was subsequently decided to suspend the acceptance of contributions.