Workers’ Representative Election Report

Dec 22, 2007

The election was won by Sato Harukichi from the Ritsumeikan Kyoushokuin Kumiai, which organises tenured staff and permanent employees on the campus, who received 374 votes. No union organises over 50% of the workforce and is strong enough to appoint the representative, so until last year a notice had always been posted after the break-up of classes for summer asking for nomination of candidates. A single candidate nominated by the in-house union was then announced as elected unopposed before the start of the next semester in October. However the situation changed dramatically last year when the General Union branch at Ritsumeikan, successfully pushed for an election and stood Reiko as candidate. In that election, the first time we had ever stood, Reiko received 120 votes and nearly 16% of the vote. The Kyoshokuin kumiai has increasingly been pushed into a position of opposing management because of their cuts in bonuses, and changes in working rules that make it easier to dismiss employees. This year the it established an election committee with representatives from the other unions on campus, General Union, Hijokin Kumiai, and Union Bochibochi (a union organising mainly students who work as teaching and research assistants on the campus.) While this year the the unions cooperated to conduct the election, management did not. They refused to provide the election committee with a list of all employees and their lack of cooperation meant that part-time and contract teachers were forced to vote in the Kyoshokuin Kumiai’s offices rather than the more convenient faculty lounges. The total vote as for all candidates was lower than last year, although this was mainly due to the university administrative staff moving off campus to new offices at Nijo. Management’s obstruction did make it slightly more difficult to get part-timers to participate in the election. Reiko’s campaign opposed the changes in the working rules and bonus cuts as well as demands vital to part-time and contract workers, such as an end to dispatching and four and five year contract limits. She won the overwhelming majority of the votes cast by part-time and contract teachers in the election. Of the 1,487 people employed on the campus only 567 are on non-term limited full time contracts. Reiko’s election was one more step in the campaign to organise and give a voice to those 920 workers, 62% or the workforce, whose employment status is not secure.

2006 Results Votes  %Matsui48464.2%Endo12015.9%Hori8611.4%spoiled648.5% 754 2007 Results Votes  %Sato37462.2%Endo14824.6%Spoiled7913.1% 601