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Unionized Teacher Hits Misbehavior of Hard-liners

Posted December. 26, 2008 03:57,   


A teacher known to be a key member of the Korean Teachers and Educational Workers’ Union has hit hard-line union members for misbehavior in a recent meeting.

He told The Dong-A Ilbo yesterday, “When their submitted bill was rejected, certain hard-line teachers walked out of the conference and called members who rejected the bill bad names and cussed. I’m greatly worried about what students will learn from teachers who care nothing about procedural democracy or rational decision-making.”

“The teachers’ union should reflect why a growing number of citizens are turning their backs on us. We need to bring about a complete change through both reform and innovation.”

In the conference held Saturday, hawkish union members decided to boycott the supervision of the nationwide exams set for Tuesday. They also demanded a revision of the bill allowing seven fired and laid-off teachers to receive pay until they retire.

Under the union’s regulation, a teacher disciplined or fired for engaging in a collective strike is guaranteed his or her pay for five years.

On the first proposal, the members engaged in a marathon six-hour debate but failed to pass the bill, with only 138 of 285 members voting in favor.

When the first suggestion was rejected, about 100 hard-line members stirred up confusion and chaos, using harsh words and walking out of the conference room. The meeting collapsed as the second proposal failed to be put to a vote due to a lack of quorum.

“How would teachers teach students who after getting their proposal rejected in a meeting, cuss at other students and walk out of the classroom. I’m a union member, but I believe the union should contemplate why we are unwelcome with the public,” the teacher said.