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Constitutional Court gives professors right to form labor unions

2018/09/03 16:04

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SEOUL, Sept. 3 (Yonhap) -- The Constitutional Court ruled Monday that it is against the highest law to deny college professors the right to form labor unions.

The court ordered that the law on teachers' unions be revised by March 31, 2020, to include professors in the category of "teachers," as defined in the teachers' union law, along with the elementary and secondary school teachers.

An outlawed labor union of professors, which is affiliated with the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), filed the suit after the labor ministry rejected its application to register as a trade union in 2015.

The court said in a 7-2 verdict that it's too much of a restriction to completely deny professors the right to organize and ordered the law's revision. The court didn't immediately suspend the law because it would eliminate the legal grounds of existing teachers' unions.

"Short-term contract professors and other non-regular professorial positions are increasing in large numbers due to university restructuring," KCTU said in a statement. "The National Assembly should immediately step forward to revise the law."