Korean Part-Timers Will Get Better Pay & Benefits Thanks to New Legislation
Part-time lecturers at universities nationwide will be given the same status as the regular teaching staff under a new plan of the Presidential Committee on Social Cohesion, in conjunction with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
The plan, announced Monday, now goes to the National Assembly.
Their treatment became an issue in June when a lecturer, citing grievances against their poor working conditions, committed suicide. Others like him have since demanded establishment of legal grounds for higher wages, insurance coverage and research support.
Currently, part-time lecturers are hired on a temporary basis and paid an hourly wage. They earn roughly one-quarter of what full-time professors do. But unlike full-time professors, they do not receive benefits such as a pension and medical insurance.
The new plan would guarantee part-time lecturers a minimum of one year of employment, raising their hourly wage from 43,000 won ($38) to 80,000 won. That means a part-time lecturer teaching nine hours per week would earn 22 million won per year, a drastic increase from the current estimate of 10.1 million won per year.
They would also receive health care, unemployment, pension and occupational safety insurance.
The new policy would apply to public universities,
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