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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 February 26 - March 4  > Refusal by Waseda Univ. to talk with unions is unfair: unions
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2014 February 26 - March 4 [LABOR]

Refusal by Waseda Univ. to talk with unions is unfair: unions

February 27, 2014
Non-regular instructors teaching Japanese to foreign students at Waseda University filed a claim for relief with the Tokyo Metropolitan Labor Relations Commission against the university’s refusal to hold negotiations with unions.

The Union of University Part-time Lecturers in Tokyo Area and the Waseda Union of Part-time Lecturers on February 26 held a press conference in the Labor Ministry’s building and announced that the labor authority had accepted their claim.

The unions explained that Waseda University employs about 90 Japanese language teachers under 6-month contracts and that the university is planning to terminate the employment contracts of those who have been employed for five years at the end of March. About ten of them, however, want their contracts renewed, the unions said.

Waseda University justifies the plan by saying that its internal employment rules set the upper limit of five years on contract renewals of Japanese language instructors, and refuses to engage in labor-management talks over the issue.

The unions argue that it was only in 2009 when the university administration created such rules and that it is therefore unfair to apply them to teachers who were already employed at that time.

In addition, the university has neither obtained consent from representatives of university lecturers about these rules nor has reported to the Labor Standards Inspection Office about those rules, the unions explained. They added that the unilaterally-set limit is thus invalid as the Labor Standards Act regards it as illegitimate.

Matsumura Hinako, chair of the Union of University Part-time Lecturers in Tokyo Area, said, “To prioritize an increase in the university’s profits by terminating the contracts of experienced teaching staff will lead to a deterioration in Japanese-language education.”
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