Saturday, March 18, 2006

open belated congratulatory message to the Berlitz Union Korea

Berlitz Korea Teachers Union
Fantastic! Incredible! Rockabilly Howlin Amen! I don't know the words that might describe what you have accomplished. It had been muttered about for years, but YOU DID IT!

Hats off, shoes off, for one giant leap for every teacher in every institute in every town in the country.

Love, respect, solidarity,

International Working Group
Korean Teachers Union (Incheon)

Saturday, March 11, 2006

To All College Faculty Members Taking Job Action:

March 11, 2006

Ontario Public Service Employees Union
Ontario, Canada

To All College Faculty Members Taking Job Action:

Public service workers throughout the world continue to be attacked by forces determined to create "cheap labour" and hegemony for "market forces."

Your members' collective refusal to retreat in the face of these attacks is an inspiration to workers everywhere.

In solidarity!

Korean Teachers Union

Why is membership on the decline?

It's the start of a new school year, full of hope and promise. And of a dozen new teachers threatening and cajoling kids in classroom and hallway, only ONE is KTU. Thankfully, the ONE is an activist (I see him at the Incheon office, he does technical stuff) and he likes to drink.

It seems many teachers are simply not renewing their memberships when they transfer schools.

The members I talk to say it's an Image Problem. And while it's true that the Grand National Party and its allies in the unholy media triad are ruthless, reckless and relentless, the union simply doesn't have any coherent strategies designed to influence public opinion. Leaders have sit-ins and hunger strikes, but the union doesn't buy space on billboards, radio, or on websites! I've seen the budget, and NO funds are allocated for "public perception" agencies. (And of course, the "public" includes the rank-and-file.) It's no surprise we're taking a beating.

We at KTU like to praise "purity of intention" ... which is fine. But at the moment, parents have no idea what those intentions are.

I hope other team members will respond?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

KTU Welcomes National Human Rights Commission Ruling on Temporary Teachers

Nearly 40 percent of all education workers in urban middle and high schools are irregular workers

As I (and of course all foreign teachers) belong to that 40%, it's good to see the NHRC bringing attention to a few of the ways irregular workers in education are being screwed around. And though I'm glad the union is paying attention, I'm far from grateful, as it could be doing a lot more for 'temporary' teachers.

Hannara Party Encourages Students to Report Progressive Teachers

Too absurd for comment, really. A marginally cooler GNP head must have seen the board, because it wasn't up for long.