Education International
Education International

Taiwan: EI welcomes inauguration of new teachers' union

published 18 July 2011 updated 26 January 2012

EI has welcomed the inauguration of the National Federation of Teacher Unions (NFTU) in Taiwan. The historic milestone in Taiwanese trade unionism was celebrated in the presence of President Ma Ying-jeou, who was joined by the Chairwoman of the Executive Yuan Labour Committee, Wang Ruxuan, and Deputy Education Minister, Lin Congming.

Developed by EI's member organisation, the National Teacher Association (NTA), and teacher associations from various counties and cities, the newly-formed NFTU represents 80,000 teachers across 19 regional teachers' unions and associations.

The NFTU's founding President, Liu Chinhsu, is a teacher at Nantou Hushan Primary School and the current NTA President. 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 unionised 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 in 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, the misuse of standardised testings and school rankings. These challenges are threatening the very core of our profession, and indeed our professional rights. Nevertheless, we 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 sixth EI World Congress will be held from 22-26 July in Cape Town, South Africa. The event will be attended by more than 1,600 representatives from education unions all over the world.