Teacher wins fight to work past 65

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Teacher wins fight to work past 65
Photo: DPA

Many teachers can't wait to put down the chalk and retire, but not this one. A 65-year-old German teacher desperate to carry on working has won his case. Forced retirement would be ageism, the court said.


Teacher Abraham Teuter, 65, is celebrating after a court said he could carry on working for another year six days before his contract would have expired, wrote Der Spiegel magazine on Friday.

German law says that public servants must stop work at 65, but Teuter just wants to carry on – at least for another year.

“I find my work fun, it's fulfilling,” Teuter told the magazine, and added that he wants to see his tutor group through to the end of school next year.

Faced with forced retirement, Teuter applied to his employers at Hesse's Ministry of Education and Arts last December to be allowed to stay on in his school in Frankfurt am Main until summer 2014.

Teuter's pupils don't want him to go either, and the German, English and Social Studies teacher managed to collect 150 signatures from pupils anxious for him to stick around.

“He should stay, he's the best teacher,” one of Teuter's pupils wrote in a handwritten note to the Hesse ministry, the magazine said.

But even when the ministry refused his request, Teuter did not give up, taking the issue to the regional administrative court in Frankfurt.

Finally, just days before Teuter was due to retire, the court ruled on Thursday that his contract must be renewed, as no one can legally be discriminated against due to their age.

Yet Teuter's fight to keep teaching isn't over yet - the Hessian ministry has appealed the ruling, meaning the question will be put to the Kassel Higher Administrative Court, a court spokesman told the magazine.

Teuter is by no means typical in his profession in wanting to keep schooling kids beyond the age of 65.

One in five German teachers now takes early retirement - down from one in two in 2001 due to a change in rules meaning that those stopping work early end up with a reduced pension.

The Frankfurt ruling comes shortly after the European Court of Human Rights ruled in a separate case that a 65-year-old lawyer could not be forced to stop working because of his age.

The Local/jlb


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