Tue, Jul 24, 2007 - Page 2 News List

KMT legislator calls for negotiations over work permits

By Angelica Oung  /  STAFF REPORTER

Unless negotiations produce a different policy, Nobel prize-winning physicist Daniel Chee Tsui (崔琦) will have to apply for a work permit if he decides to teach at National Taiwan University just like other white-collar foreign workers in this country.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Justin Chou (周守訓)called for negotiations between the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA), which demands work permits for all professors except those directly hired by national research institutions as consultants or researchers, and the Ministry of Education (MOE).

"No professor is going to want to be grouped with laborers," Chou argued. "The matter of securing entry for professors should be the province of the MOE, not the CLA."

Chou said he has appealed to the secretary-general of the Executive Yuan, Chen Chin-jun (陳景峻), to kick start talks between the two branches of government.

When asked for comment, Chen told the Taipei Times by telephone yesterday that he is still working on negotiations to allow Tsui and other professors to enter the country without first obtaining a work permit.

"We hope that the CLA can expand universities, especially elite universities, to the list of research institutions," said Ho Jow-fei (何卓飛), the head of the Ministry of Education's Department of Higher Education.

Ho said that some foreign professors have previously complained about the need to obtain a work permit.

"Its about their feelings," Ho said. "When you have world-class academics who agree to teach here in Taiwan, they expect to be treated with respect."

"There is no reason for professors to feel slighted by the fact that their permit is processed by the CLA," said Chen Jui-chia (陳瑞嘉) senior executive officer of the council. "In fact, I have not heard Professor Tsui complain about it, just people who think he might be."

Additional reporting by Jimmy Chuang

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