A new teachers’ union with a pro-establishment background was set up yesterday but the group said it was just a coincidence that it was launched a day after the city’s biggest teachers’ union – the Professional Teachers’ Union – passed a motion to disband.
The Hong Kong Education Workers Union said it will help teachers regardless of their political stance but will draw the line on cases that involve teachers breaking the law.
The new union is a member of the pro-Beijing Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers. The federation’s chairman, Wong Kam-leung, said: “A newly established union should provide service to all education workers in Hong Kong.
“It does not matter whether people who are interested in joining were previously members of other groups that are pro-establishment or pro-democracy,” he said.
The union’s motto is “we protect educators’ rights with professionalism.” It will provide services including answering inquiries about education workers’ rights and assisting teachers through mediation and legal proceedings.
The union’s chairman, Wong Kin-ho, said the union will assist teachers in accordance with the law while upholding one country, two systems.
Wong is a vice-principal of a secondary school in Tin Shui Wai. The remaining six council members of the union are kindergarten, primary and secondary school teachers. Five out of seven council members are also council members of the Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers.
Separately, the convener of the non-official members of the Executive Council, Bernard Charnwut Chan, said it’s a pity to see the disbandment of the Professional Teachers’ Union and that the June 4 vigil organizer – Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China – could be struck off from the Companies Register.
“Of course it’s a pity,” Chan said. “The Professional Teachers’ Union and the Hong Kong Alliance have been operating in Hong Kong for a long time and have gained supporters.
“I do not see how the personal problems of one or two groups will affect the development of Hong Kong civil society.”