Call to review law barring teachers holding office in unions

Mohamed-Sabri-Mohd-Arshad-nutpCYBERJAYA: The Congress of Unions of Teachers in the Malaysian Education Service wants the government to reassess the enforcement of the law prohibiting teachers in the management and professional groups from holding positions in teachers’ unions.

Its president, Mohamed Sabri Mohd Arshad, said the ban, which is based on a directive from the human resources ministry received on Dec 6 last year, stated that teachers in the DG41 grade and above are not allowed to hold any office in a union under the Trade Unions Act 1959.

He said the ban would affect more than 300,000 teachers who are members of eight unions under the Congress.

This will hinder the activities and plans of the congress to assist the education ministry in strengthening the education sector.

The directive stated that positions in the union be limited to teachers under the DG38 grade and below, while all teachers in the service and professional groups are only allowed to hold office in the union until the next election, he said at a press conference here today.

Sabri said currently the majority of teachers had degrees after the government opened up opportunities for them to pursue graduate studies in 2010.

“Our concern is that the congress, which has contributed a lot to the education sector, might be buried if the directive is enforced as it is hard to find teachers who are not in the management and professional groups in the congress,” he said.