Hundreds of private-school teachers gathered outside the Ministry of Education building in Taipei yesterday to protest their lack of a retirement welfare pension and urged the government and the legislature to immediately pass a bill to resolve the matter.
More than 300 private school teachers staged a sit-in protest on the road in front of the ministry building yesterday morning holding placards that read: “No pension, no justice,” wearing red headbands and chanting: “Return my pension to me.”
“For just about every profession, there is a monthly retirement payout. All workers are protected by the labor insurance retirement payout, public-school teachers also have a monthly retirement payout and even people who are not employed can be covered by the National Insurance scheme,” National Federation of Teachers’ Unions Vice President Wu Chung-tai (吳忠泰) said. “Only private school teachers do not get the benefits. They are the orphans of the retirement welfare system.”
Wu said that there are more than 63,000 private-school teachers around the nation and the legislative proposal on monthly retirement payouts for private-school teachers would benefit a large number of people.
“The current legislative session is set to adjourn on Tuesday. We urge the Legislative Yuan to pass the bill immediately,” he added.
Kuo Shih-tsan (郭石燦), a teacher at Taipei’s Jingwen Senior High School, said that the difference in retirement welfare coverage between private and public school teachers was huge.
“Private school teachers are excluded from labor insurance and national insurance schemes and there is not enough protection for our retirement,” he said. “I’ve been teaching for more than 20 years, but what I can get is a one-time retirement payout of a little more than NT$2 million [US$66,600], but for a public school teacher in the same situation, they could get payouts of NT$70,000 per month.”
Liu Chih-chien (劉志堅), a teacher from New Taipei City’s (新北市) Chunghua Senior High School, said he understood that private school teachers are not government employees and are not entitled to the same benefits as public servants or public school teachers, “but we should be treated at least the same as other employees in the private sector and enjoy the benefits of labor insurance.”
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡) was also at the rally. He pledged the DPP caucus’ support for the teachers’ cause.