Polish Teachers' Union

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A flag showing the logo of the Polish Teachers' Union

Polish Teachers' Union (Polish: Związek Nauczycielstwa Polskiego, ZNP, also translated as Union of Polish Teachers,[1] Polish Teachers' Association, Association of Polish Teachers[2]) is the largest Polish trade union for teachers and educators[3] and their largest professional association.[4]


First Polish teachers trade unions date to 1905, the year that marks the period of unrest known as the Revolution in the Kingdom of Poland (1905–1907).[1][4] The Polish Teachers' Union has been created in 1930 from the merger of the Union of Polish Teachers of Elementary Schools and the Trade Union of Teachers of Polish High Schools, both dating to 1919.[1] In the 1930s, ZNP, numbering over 50,000 members before World War II, and being the largest Polish association and trade union for educators, became increasingly influenced by socialists, which caused it to be eventually suspended by the conservative and right-leaning Polish government.[1][4] In response, the socialist wing of ZNP organized the large Polish teachers strike (1937), which succeeded in having the government back down and reinstate the organization.[4] ZNP at that time maintained also auxiliary institutions, such as the Pedegogical Institute, and run summer vocational courses.[1]

During the war, ZNP continued to exist as part of the underground education in Poland during World War II, in the form of the Secret Teaching Organization.[1][5] The Organization was created towards the end of October 1939 in Warsaw response to German closure of most Polish educational institutions and repressions against teachers.[6][7]

After the war, ZNP was reinstated by the new Polish communist government, but had relatively little real influence.[4] It was briefly suspended during the martial law in 1981.[4] In 1984 it joined the All-Poland Alliance of Trade Unions.[4] Like most other Polish trade unions, ZNP became independent after the fall of communism in 1989. The Union leaders decided to keep it aligned to the Polish left (Social Democracy of Poland), which caused a split, as some of the members left for the Solidary-aligned trade unions.[4] Nonetheless, it remained and is currently the largest Polish trade union for teachers and educators.[3][4]


The Union is governed by the National Meeting of the Delegates which convenes every four years.[4] On day-to-day basis, the Main Office takes care of the routine organizational activities.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Jerzy Jan Lerski (1996). Historical dictionary of Poland, 966-1945. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 624. ISBN 978-0-313-26007-0. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  2. ^ Joanna B. Michlic (2006). Poland's threatening other: the image of the Jew from 1880 to the present. U of Nebraska Press. p. 77. ISBN 978-0-8032-3240-2. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Alexander Mohr (June 2010). The German Political Foundations as Actors in Democracy Assistance. Universal-Publishers. p. 220. ISBN 978-1-59942-331-9. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k (in Polish) wiązek Nauczycielstwa Polskiego, WIEM Encyklopedia
  5. ^ (in Polish) Tajna Organizacja Nauczycielska, WIEM Encyklopedia
  6. ^ Josef Krauski, Education as Resistance: The Polish Experience of Schooling During the War, in Roy Lowe, Education and the Second World War : studies in schooling and social change, Falmer Press, 1992, ISBN 0-7507-0054-8, [1], M1 Google Print, p.128-138
  7. ^ Ewa Bukowska, Secret Teaching in Poland in the Years 1939 to 1945, London Branch of the Polish Home Army Ex-Servicemen Association

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