Sat, Sep 24, 2016 - Page 1 News List

Teachers told to work on Teachers’ Day

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Teachers are being told they have to work on Teachers’ Day on Wednesday next week, while other workers are to have a day off as a bill to implement a “one fixed day off, one flexible rest day” workweek is reviewed by the legislature.

Ministry of Education official Chen Pei-chun (陳佩君) said that because private and public-school teachers are covered by the Teachers’ Act (教師法) rather than the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法), teachers will not have a day off on Teacher’s Day.

However, private-kindergarten teachers, who are covered by Labor Standards Act regulations, do not have to work on Wednesday next week, Chen said.

After the 40-hour workweek came into effect this year in accordance with an amendment to the Labor Standards Act, workers have been entitled to seven national holidays, Chen said.

As workers faced a 42-hour workweek, but were given two days off every week, the seven holidays — designated by the Directorate-General of Personnel Administration — were not observed for years to make up for the loss in work hours, she said.

The inconsistent rules have drawn criticism from public servants and teachers with kindergarten-aged children, with the workers having no Teachers’ Day break, while the places their children normally attend are not open.

The rules have also affected university students’ schedules, as students working part-time as teachers’ assistants — with those positions covered by the Labor Standards Act — have Teachers’ Day off, while their peers who are not employed by universities have to work.

National Taiwan University and National Taiwan Normal University have said that students working as teachers’ assistants do not have to work on Wednesday next week.

Chen said the same confusion could arise again next month with Retrocession Day on Oct. 25 and Chiang Kai-shek’s (蔣介石) birthday on Oct. 31 if the legislation on the “one day off, one flexible rest day” — which will determine whether the seven holidays will be retained — is not passed.

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