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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 March 27 - April 2  > Part-time teachers at universities fight back against 5-year contract limit
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2013 March 27 - April 2 [LABOR]

Part-time teachers at universities fight back against 5-year contract limit

March 29, 2013
Part-time teaching staff at colleges and universities are fighting back against their employers’ move to not renew the job contracts of those who have worked for them for five years.

In a rally held at the House of Councilors Members' Office Building on March 28, part-time teachers from around the country shared their stories and concerns.

The revised Labor Contract Law requires employers to offer an open-ended contract to non-regular employees who have worked for more than five years if they wish. The new regulation will come into effect on April 1. As a way to avoid this regulation, some universities are moving to set a limit of five years on the term of contracts with non-regular workers.

Among national universities, Ryukyu and Osaka universities announced that they plan to change their work rules on part-time teachers to ones including a five-year limit. Private universities, such as Waseda and Rissho are doing the same thing.

However, Ryukyu University gave up the plan due to fierce protest from union members. Some universities expressed their intention to not introduce five-year term limits in contract with part-time teaching staff. They are: Tokyo University, Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Tokyo University of the Arts, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo Gakugei University, and Takasaki City University of Economics. Union activities are blocking the employers’ moves to introduce term limits.

In the rally, a participant from Osaka University said. “It is unfair for school authorities to unilaterally change work rules regarding part-time teachers.” Another person from the same university said, “We will not be able to provide our students with a good educational environment with experienced teachers.”

Enoki Eisuke, lecturer at Kinki University said, “While more people are obtaining doctorates, academic positions are decreasing.” “You can’t concentrate on research activities if your employment is unstable,” he stressed.

Related past articles

> Employers move to terminate employment contracts before labor law revised [February 22, 2013]
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