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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 November 18 - 24  > Part-time teachers at public junior high schools win payments for unpaid overtime
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2020 November 18 - 24 TOP3 [LABOR]

Part-time teachers at public junior high schools win payments for unpaid overtime

November 24, 2020

The Nagoya City Board of Education in Aichi Prefecture has decided to pay about 1.3 million yen in unpaid overtime wages to five part-time lecturers working at public junior high schools. The five non-regular teachers succeeded in their fight which was launched with the aim of contributing to eliminating the excessively long working hours and heavy workloads of teachers.

The five teachers in November last year filed a complaint in regard to unpaid overtime with local labor standards inspection offices in their school districts. In the filing, they presented a record of their overtime between June and September. According to the record, the average monthly overtime was 20 hours and the longest was 78 hours.

Ahead of the filing with the labor law enforcement authorities, the five teachers negotiated with the city education commission on their demand for back pay for their overtime work. However, their demand was rejected by the commission on the grounds that part-time lecturers are expected to finish their work within their prescribed working hours.

One of the five non-regular lecturers works under a contract with 12 weekly working hours. This worker said, “Every week, I spend 11 hours in the classroom. Therefore, it is impossible for me to finish other work such as class preparation and assessment of students’ homework within the remaining one hour.”

The five lecturers have waged their fight for unpaid overtime through support from unions and the Japanese Communist Party. In February of this year, JCP member of the House of Representatives Motomura Nobuko brought up this issue in a House Internal Affairs Committee meeting. In response to Motomura, officials of the Labor and Internal Affairs ministries said that workers should be properly paid for hours they actually worked.

These efforts have led to the labor law enforcement offices’ instruction regarding unpaid overtime. Following this instruction, the city education board this month decided to pay the five part-time lecturers for their extra work between April 2019 and March 2020. This decision offered the possibility to 1,400 part-time lecturers at public junior high schools and elementary schools as well as special schools for disabled students in Nagoya City to claim unpaid overtime wages based on their work records.

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