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60K FT & PT Faculty In Taiwan Unionize Together

by Lee I-chia

A trade union comprised of faculty and staff from the nation’s institutes of higher education was officially established yesterday, calling for better labor conditions, democratic governance of universities, and academic freedom and fairness in distributing the nation’s educational resources.

According to Taiwan Higher Education Union statistics, there are at least 60,000 full-time and part-time professors, 30,000 staff and 120,000 research assistants and part-time workers in the country’s higher education institutes.

However, the number of contract or part-time faculty and staff is rapidly increasing, causing labor conditions to worsen in the past few years, it said.

There were 41,822 full-time and 27,111 part-time university faculty in 2001, but last year there were 49,929 full-time and 44,215 part-time university faculty, a 63 percent -increase in the number of part-time faculty, the union said.

At the establishment meeting held on National Taiwan University campus yesterday, Taiwan Higher Education Union preparatory committee convener Tai Po-fen (戴伯芬), a professor in the Department of Sociology at Fu Jan Catholic University, said the trade union was established because of an increasing number of cases of unreasonable dismissal of faculty, unreasonable pressure to produce research papers published in the Social Sciences Citation Index’s (SSCI)

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