Education International
Education International

Taiwan: EI expresses solidarity at the inauguration of the new National Federation of Teacher Unions

published 18 July 2011 updated 18 July 2011

The inauguration of the new National Federation of Teacher Unions took place on 11 July. The milestone in the history of trade unionism was attended by President Ma Yingjeou, Chairwoman of the Labour Committee of Executive Yuan, Wang Ruxuan, and Deputy Education Minister, Lin Congming.

Developed by EI member organisation, the National Teacher Association (NTA), and teacher associations from various counties and cities, the newly-formed National Federation of Teacher Unions now represents 19 regional teacher unions and associations. Membership has reached eighty thousand, and is still increasing.

The founding President of the new union body is Liu Chinhsu. A teacher at the Nantou Hushan Primary School and current President of the NTA, Liu has been active in the promotion of unionism among the teaching profession for many decades.

“Current and future education professionals should promote the idea among parents that a unionized teacher workforce is healthy and beneficial for the education system. It is also important to turn around the current negative labour relations in the country and build closer ties with employees of the other sectors,” commented Liu.

With the formal activation of the new Labour Law on 1 May this year, President Ma expressed admiration for the formation of the new federation within such a short period of time. “I have confidence that the new federation will enhance workers’ rights and help increase the quality of education in this country,” he said.

EI expressed its congratulations through a statement written by General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen.

“There are still many challenges ahead of us, such as the casualisation of the profession, the threat of privatisation and the misuse of standardized testings and school rankings. These challenges are threatening the very core of our profession, and indeed our professional rights. Nevertheless, take comfort in the fact that ALL of us face the same challenges, and together we are stronger. Together, we will defend our profession,” said van Leeuwen.

The 6th World Congress of Education International will be held from 22-26 July in Cape Town, South Africa. The event will be attended by more than 1600 representatives from education unions all over the world.