Teachers’ unions in Britain, the USA, France and elsewhere have reason to think that they wield considerable power and have been able to improve their conditions of employment considerably. But surely the champion of teacher trade unions is that of Poland. The union succeeded in getting teachers’ hours of lessons down to a mere 18 hours per week.
Two people here in Warsaw told me that this has enabled them to develop a significant role as insurance salesmen. They have got so much free time that they are able to sell insurance as well as teach.
One person also told me that, in fact, they teach for more than 18 hours. They may work as many as 26 hours. But of course if they do so, it is all overtime and paid at a premium rate.