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Teachers´ Associations, teachers have participated in decision-making in the school system since the 19th century. Originally, there were associations for each type of school (Mittelschule (secondary school) 1861; primary school, 1863; Realschule, 1870 etc.) or for a specific subject (association of Austrian sports teachers, 1869; association of Austrian art teachers, 1875 etc.) which represented educational and political interests. Towards the end of the 19th century the emerging political parties started to infiltrate the non-political, mainly liberal and nationalist teachers´ associations, first of all those of primary school teachers, (e.g. the "Central-Verein der Wiener Lehrerschaft", founded in 1896, and the association "Freie Schule" (free school), founded in 1905 by Social Democrats), or the political parties founded associations themselves (e.g. "Verein der Lehrer und Schulfreunde Österreichs" (association of teachers and friends of schools in Austria), founded by the Christian Socialists in 1899). During the First Republic teachers´ associations were usually affiliated to political parties but did not always reflect this in their names. Even the organisation with compulsory membership "Verband deutsch-österreichischer Mittelschullehrer" (association of German-Austrian secondary school teachers) was gradually influenced by party politics and union interests were increasingly pursued. Between 1934 and 1938 corporative professional associations took over from the long-established teachers´ associations (some of which were dissolved), from 1938 to 1945 the "National Socialist Teachers´ Association" was the only legal professional association. In the Second Republic teachers´ associations were reorganised but did not gain their former importance as the federal government accepted only the Austrian Trade Union Federation (government decree issued by Chancellor Figl, 1946) as a negotiating partner on professional and pay issues. The staff representations established in 1967 also led to teachers´ associations losing importance.
At present the most important teachers´ associations are: Katholische Lehrerschaft Österreichs (Catholic teachers of Austria), founded in 1893, with largely independent provincial associations; Sozialistischer Lehrerverein Österreichs (Socialist teachers´ association of Austria) (1945) with provincial associations; Österreichischer Lehrerbund (Austrian teachers´ society) (1868); Bundessektion Pflichtschullehrer in der Gewerkschaft öffentlicher Dienst (federal section of teachers of primary and secondary schools in the Civil Servants´ Union) (1945); Freiheitlicher Österreichischer Lehrerverband (Freedomite teachers´ association) (1953); Bund demokratischer Lehrer und Erzieher Österreichs (Association of democratic teachers and caretakers in Austria) with communist sympathies, 1945; Sektion Berufsschullehrer in der Gewerkschaft öffentlicher Dienst (section of vocational school teachers in the Civil Servants´ Union, (1945); Vereinigung christlicher Lehrerinnen und Lehrer an höheren und mittleren Schulen (Association of Christian teachers in secondary schools) (1920); Vereinigung sozialdemokratischer Lehrerinnen und Lehrer an allgemeinbildenden höheren Schulen (Association of social democratic teachers in secondary schools) (1918 and 1929); Vereinigung sozialistischer Lehrer an berufsbildenden mittleren und höheren Schulen (Association of socialist teachers in vocational secondary schools) (1970); Workers´ and Employees´ Federation (ÖAAB), special group for secondary schools (gradually established since 1956); federal section of secondary school teachers in the Civil Servants´ Union (1945); Verband der Professoren Österreichs (Association of Professors in Austria) (1952); Bundessektion Lehrer an berufsbildenden mittleren und höheren Schule in der Gewerkschaft öffentlicher Dienst (federal section of teachers in vocational secondary schools in the Civil Servants´ Union) (1946); Österreichische Professoren-Union (ÖPU) (Union of Austrian Professors), the joint slate of the Workers´ and Employees´ Federation (ÖAAB), the Faction of Christian Unionists and the Association of Christian teachers in secondary schools, 1967).
Literature: H. Engelbrecht, Lehrervereine im Kampf um Status und Einfluß, 1978.