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Union Urges Against Punishment for ‘Political Teachers’

Union Urges Against Punishment for ‘Political Teachers’

Posted October. 26, 2010 11:36,   


The Korean Teachers and Education Workers’ Union demanded Monday that the Education, Science and Technology Ministry nullify disciplinary action for unionized teachers who joined the progressive Democratic Labor Party.

“We demand the withdrawal of the recent order of the Education, Science and Technology Ministry sent to municipal and provincial education offices on punishing 134 unionized teachers charged with joining the Democratic Labor Party this month,” union chief Jeong Jin-hu said.

“From today, we will stage an indefinite overnight sit-in protest in front of the Central Government Complex and hold protests at municipal and provincial offices. We will also let nations participating in the G-20 summit know of the oppression.”

The union said the Education Ministry convened a meeting of vice superintendents from 16 municipal and provincial education offices Thursday and ordered them to finish firing teachers involved with the labor party within this month regardless of a court ruling.

Education Minister Lee Joo-ho, however, said in a government audit Friday, “I reconfirmed the punishment guideline decided in May and let each education office deal with it depending on its individual situation.”

The union responded by saying, “What Minister Lee said is not true. A document titled ‘Cooperation for Speedy Punishment Requested’ was included unofficially at the meeting,” and released the document.

The document included requests such as “an expedited vote on punishment since the legal deadline for voting on punishment is passed,” “the principle of depriving the position of an official shall be maintained,” and “awards or reduction of punishment will not be applied,” and “those related to the (union’s) declaration shall be subject to aggravated punishment.”

Union spokesman Eom Min-yong said, “Several vice superintendents cited the difficulty in pushing for punishment at the meeting, for which they were kicked out, and the meeting continued.”

He claimed that when they asked what the pursuit of speedy punishment was, a ministry official answered “to get it done by the end of October.”

A ministry source said, however, “We didn’t clarify the deadline as the end of October,” adding, “Under the Public Educational Officials Act, punishment shall be addressed within 90 days from a request for a vote for punishment. If this is what the municipal and provincial education offices agreed on, we respect what was agreed on.”