Updated August. 20, 2014 05:03
No metropolitan and provincial education offices are found to have reported dismissal of teachers and education workers working full time for the Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union (KTU), who have yet to return to their schools by the Tuesday, the deadline for their dismissal.
The Education Ministry recently instructed the metropolitan and provincial education offices to dismiss by Tuesday those leaders working full time for the progressive union who had failed to return to their schools, after the union was recently ruled illegal by court. The education offices that are subject to the instruction are 12 organizations including those of Seoul, Gangwon, Gyeonggi, South Gyeongsang, North Gyeongsang, Daejeon, Ulsan, Incheon, South Jeolla, South Chungcheong, North Chungcheong, and North Jeolla (by the deadline of Friday).
As a result, the Education Ministry is expected to opt for execution of administrative order to punish by itself those who failed to return to school or filing of criminal suit against the superintendents concerned for their negligence, heralding clash between the ministry and education offices concerned.
Most education offices held on Monday a disciplinary committee, which was not attended by the union leaders who haven`t returned to school, and postponed the execution of dismissal, rather than dismissing them. A source at the North Gyeongsang Provincial Office of Education said, We will decide whether to take disciplinary action after waiting and seeing the result of injunction suit (sought by the KTU) to nullify the court ruling that illegalized KTU, for which the Seoul High Court will issue ruling within this month.
The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, which has the largest number of full-time union leaders at 12, also held a disciplinary committee on Monday, but decided to postpone making a decision on disciplinary actions. Min Byeong-hee, superintendent of the Gangwon Provincial Office of Education, decided to file a suit against the Education Ministry with the Supreme Court in order to seek court order to suspend the execution of the right to dismiss a teacher, saying, Legal judgment is needed to determine who, between the education minister or the education superintendent, has the right to order dismissal of a teacher.
Meanwhile, Kim Byeong-woo, superintendent of the North Chungcheong Provincial Office of Education who is a progressive, and Seol Dong-ho, superintendent of the Daejeon Metropolitan Office of Education who is a moderate conservative, said they will dismiss the teachers in question although they will not be able to complete the process by Tuesday. The Education Ministry requested the North Jeolla Provincial Office of Education, which informed the ministry of its deadline as Monday next week, to dismiss teachers concerned by Friday.