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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 May 22 - 28  > Tokyo court nullifies Shukutoku University dismissal of 3 professors
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2019 May 22 - 28 [LABOR]

Tokyo court nullifies Shukutoku University dismissal of 3 professors

May 24, 2019

The Tokyo District Court on May 23 issued a ruling nullifying the dismissal of three professors by Shukutoku University.

The university in 2013 notified 12 teaching staff in the Department of International Communications that the department will be closed at the end of March 2017, and requested that they accept early retirement offers by that time or face being fired. The targeted teachers in 2015 formed their union and urged the university authority to hold collective negotiations on this matter. The university management, however, rejected the union request and dismissed Professor Paul Ziegler, who heads the union, and two other professors at the end of March 2017.

The court ruling pointed out that the university was financially healthy and that the university administration refused to sincerely respond to the union’s demand for collective bargaining. It recognized the university’s act as an abuse of its legal right to dismiss and invalidated the dismissals of the three professors.

After the ruling, union chair Ziegler and lawyers held a press conference. Ziegler valued the court decision as a good precedent which will not allow universities to implement schemes to reorganize their departments as reason for termination of teachers’ employment contracts. He expressed his hope of returning to his original position in education and research as well as involvement in union activities.

The university’s refusal to engage in collective bargaining with the union was already recognized as an unfair labor practice by the Tokyo Metropolitan Labor Relations Commission, the Central Labor Relations Commission, and the Tokyo District Court.

Past related articles:
> Court: Shukutoku University's refusal to engage in collective bargaining is unfair labor practice [February 22, 2019]
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