7 January 2023
The National Federation of Teachers’ Unions (NFTU) yesterday urged the government to relieve teachers from traffic warden duty, citing the case of a teacher who became paralyzed after being hit by a vehicle.
The teacher, surnamed Liang (梁), was struck by a vehicle as she helped students cross a road in Koahsiung in 2021.
Liang’s family has not received any compensation or consolatory payment, because the Kaohsiung Education Bureau and the school she worked at have been trading blame, Kaohsiung Teachers’ Association president Yu Chu-cheng (于居正) told a news conference in Taipei.
The family also cannot access millions of New Taiwan dollars from fundraising efforts, due to a complication with opening a special case account with the Kaohsiung Social Affairs Bureau, Yu said.
Following talks with the union, the Kaohsiung City Government agreed that teachers should not be required to serve as traffic wardens, and that it would furnish guidelines to improve faculty and student safety on the road, he said.
The city government should work with schools to appoint volunteer traffic wardens who would help students reach school safely, and make improvements to traffic arrangements and signage on the roads around campuses, he said.
The Teachers’ Union of Taichung also reached a similar agreement with the Taichung City Government after filing an administrative arbitration, which ended in the union’s favor in 2016, Taichung Teachers’ Association president Chang Yung-ching (張永青) said.
Pedestrian safety around schools should be protected by police officers or volunteer traffic police who have the authority to carry out the task, Yilan Teachers’ Association president Yeh Ming-cheng (葉明政) said.
Protecting students from vehicles is not part of a teacher’s job and student safety on the road should be handled by government agencies, Pingtung Educational Industry Union president Huang Fu-tien (黃莆田) said in an appeal to the Ministry of Education.
Taoyuan is lagging behind other cities and counties in phasing teachers out of the ranks of traffic wardens, Taoyuan Teachers’ Association president Chen Chun-yu (陳俊裕) said, adding that better use of technology and cooperation with police is needed to resolve the problem. #