Aug. 8. 2020
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KTFA News Korean Education News
  KFTA News
   Disclosure of teacher organization members list
   7463    2010-05-04

On April 19, a Korean lawmaker disclosed the members list of five teacher organizations and unions including KFTA, Korean Teachers and Education Workers' Union, Korean Union of Teaching and Education Workers, Korea Liberal Teachers' Union and Korean Teachers Union via his website. The list of 222,479 teachers contains their organization & union and teaching subject data categorized by school and name.

The lawmaker went ahead to disclose the list despite the Seoul Southern District Court’s provisional disposition order on teacher organization & union members list on April 15. Given the insufficient legal grounds, neglect of Court’s ruling and inadequate timing and procedure, KFTA considers that the disclosure was overall undesirable.

KFTA surveyed the opinions of 496 pre-school, elementary, middle and high school teachers on the disclosure from April 20-22 and found that more than 6 out of 10 teachers object the disclosure of teacher union members list. 66.1% of those surveyed said they “disagree” with the idea that the disclosure is for the right-to-know of parents while 31.6% said they “agree.” And while 65.3% of the teachers regarded the disclosure as an infringement of teacher privacy, 32.8% said “the list disclosure is necessary to satisfy the right-to-know of the public.”

On April 20, KFTA asked EI(Education International) Head Office and Asia-Pacific Regional Office, NEA and AFT in the US and JTU in Japan to check if there were any similar cases reported. EI Head Office and JTU told us that “there was no such case found and the disclosure constitutes a significant violation of not only union rights but also individual human rights of members (including privacy)” by mail.

KFTA will develop an alternative approach based on a comprehensive review of the member opinions collected through survey, replies from foreign teacher organizations and legal review outcomes to address the issue.

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