Bread lunches, empty childcare classrooms… Why are the school irregular workers on strike?

◀ anchor ▶

Aside from holding a large-scale rally, the circumstances in which the canteen cooks and caregivers chose to strike should be looked at separately.

In the end, it is not to discriminate against non-regular workers.

Reporter Hee-hyeong Cho listened to their stories.

◀ Report ▶

An elementary school lunchtime in Seoul.

Sandwiches, tangerines, and grape juice are on the lunchroom and children’s table.


“I only have bread today. Eat a little. (Teacher! I don’t mind!)”

Bread was provided instead of rice as school lunch cooks went on strike.

[이서율/초등학교 2학년]

“It just feels like a simple breakfast at home.”

At an elementary school in Gyeonggi-do, elementary school nurses went on strike.

After school care classes were suspended, and parents had to pick up their children earlier than usual.


“Originally, I didn’t come out (pick up), but suddenly (there was a strike today), I inevitably came out to pick up my children instead.”

As a result of this strike, one out of five schools across the country provided alternative meals or had lunches stopped, and 14% of childcare classes were suspended, causing inconvenience to students and parents.

Most of those who went on strike were school irregular workers.

He said that he was not able to receive overtime pay despite the increase in serving time due to COVID-19.

[박쌍순/급식실 조리원]

“It’s very difficult to stand for 2 hours and 40 minutes to serve food. Disinfection has to be done too thoroughly, and work hours are very late.”

Caregivers were sometimes put in from the morning when schools were closed.


“Even during school semesters, vacations, or disasters like Corona, our working hours go back and forth like a rubber band.”

A total of 25,000 school non-regular workers participated in the strike.

They demanded an increase in service pay and holiday vacation costs, which are less than half of full-time workers, and demanded that the schools that teach children should be rid of discrimination.

This is Jo Hee-hyung from MBC News.

Video coverage: Hyun-kwon Seo, Lee Sang-yong, Gyeongnam MBC Jang-hoon Kim / Video editing: Ga-ram Kim

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