Founded in 1990, the Education, Science and Culture Trade Union of Slovenia (ESTUS or SVIZ Slovenije) is the largest independent trade union in the whole public sector, with 39,000 members (trade union officials from 960 institutions operate throughout 28 regional committees). It is an independent, democratic and non-party organisation joined by employees in education, training, science and culture on a voluntary basis in order to express and implement their interests in an organised way, safeguard their economic and social position, protect their rights, enforce the role and the importance of education, culture and science as fundamental carriers of the successful future of our country, and influence the policy set-up in education, science and culture. ESTUS supervises the implementation of the General Collective Agreement on Public Sector (signed in 1991), the Collective Agreement on Research (signed in 1992), the Collective Agreement on Education (signed in 1994) and the Collective Agreement on Culture. ESTUS participates in the parliamentary Committee of Culture, Schooling, Sports and Science and the parliamentary Committee of Health, Labour, Family and Social Welfare Policy. It has been a founding member of the Educational International (EI) since 1993 and co-operates with ETUCE (European Trade Union Committee of Education), with ILO and with UNESCO.
In 1998 ESTUS signed an Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Slovenia, universities and trade unions of universities and research institutes on the transformation of the salary system to make the salaries of university and research institute staff comparable to those of other top qualified professions. It has a Supervisory Committee and Commission for Statutory Issues and Complaints.