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Unionized Teachers Data to Be Announced

Posted September. 18, 2008 07:00,   


The Education, Science and Technology Ministry will announce in December the union membership of the country`s teachers by school on its homepage.

The Korea Federation of Teachers’ Associations has 38.9 percent of Korea’s 400,000 teachers as members, followed by the Korean Teachers and Educational Workers’ Union with 17.3 percent.

The number of public teachers belonging to the two unions is four times higher than that of those who work at private schools, according to a report submitted to ruling Grand National Party lawmaker Cho Jeon-hyeok by 16 school districts around the nation.

The report contains statistics on union members who teach at public schools in the country.

As of April, Korea had 403,796 elementary, middle and high school teachers, 156,987 of whom belong to the federation and 69,974 to the teachers’ union.

The Korea Liberal Teachers’ Union had 2,955 members (0.7 percent) and the Korean Union of Teaching and Educational Workers 399 (0.1 percent).

Overall 57 percent of all teachers were members of the four unions, with the remainder unaffiliated.

Membership fees are automatically deducted from members’ paychecks and wired into each union’s accounts. The statistics were thus tallied based on member lists submitted to the school districts, but excluded teachers at kindergarten, special education and college.

More public school teachers were union members than those at private schools. The majority 78.4% of the federation’s members (123,017) worked at public schools while 21.6 percent (33,970) taught at private schools.

As for the Teachers and Education Workers’ union, the second largest in the country, 87.1 percent of members (60,943) were at public schools and 12.9 percent (9,031) at private schools. Thus this union has more members from private schools than the federation.

Geographically, 31.3 percent of teachers in Gwangju were members of the Teachers and Education Workers’ union, followed by 23.3 percent in South Chungcheong Province; 22.8 percent in South Jeolla Province; 22.4 percent in North Jeolla Province; 15.5 percent in Seoul; and 11.1 percent in Gyeonggi Province.

On the other hand, 56.3 percent of teachers in South Chungcheong Province were members of the teachers’ federation and 49.4% were in Daejeon. Ulsan had a relatively low union membership of 23.4 percent despite being notorious as a union stronghold.

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