The labor ministry says teachers have the right to go on strike. Labor Minister Pan Shih-wei told lawmakers on Monday that teachers have the right to stage a walkout.
Pan said that’s according to two international conventions that Taiwan has signed. One is the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights, and the other is the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
The labor ministry is planning to loosen restrictions to reflect the teachers’ right to go on strike, as outlined in the conventions. But the plan faces strong opposition from the education ministry, parents and schools at all levels.
Pan said the labor ministry will seek a consensus among all parties involved. He said teachers in Taiwan have a different status than those in other countries, and that could have an effect on their rights.
"In many other countries, teachers are not hired in the same way civil servants are," said Pan. "But in Taiwan, teachers at public elementary and middle schools are more like civil servants. Because there are different models, the issue is open to discussion and we have yet to decide on the next step.”