The "Certificated Teachers' Pay Dispute in 1973" ("the Dispute") was, historically the first collective insurgency of indigenous teachers as well as the first industrial action taken by local civil servants. Teachers from publicly funded schools successfully claimed their economic demands from the then colonial administration. Prima facie the subject matter of this study seems to be concerned only with the economic interest of a certain group of people. However, an in-depth inquiry brings to the fore its underlying political theme, i.e. the redistribution of power. Herein I use the "Political Process Model" as the theoretical framework and the "struggling for power" as the conceptual tool to operate the empirical data. This study also verifies that the Dispute was the confluence of two major political processes, namely (1) an unprecedented political opportunity provided by changes in the political structure, and (2) the change of indigenous organizational strength. The notion of "collective grievances" cannot provide a convincing explanation of the issues aforesaid.
Academically, this study's significance is two-fold. First, by way of comparative study, it proves the applicability of the "Political Process Model" to an authoritarian polity, provided that adjustment is made on the basis of the parameters proposed by Cook (1996). That is to say, political opportunity is rare in a closed political system and only arises in a particular "proximate environment" or a certain specific period of time. It is non-structural. Therefore the opportunity can only be measured by its functionality, which includes the diminution of the possibility of suppression and the access to the polity. In respect of the latter, this study ushers in the new concept of "leverage" to explain how those groups far from the core of power used their numerical strength to successfully challenge the authoritarian colonial government.
Secondly, in the process of sorting out the historical context