Since the new president, who came in April, was allegedly successful at breaking a union at the school he manages in Tokyo, this is a real threat. We are determined this will not happen in Osaka and as such, the branch members are stepping up the pressure. Staff were leafletted over two days before the last round of negotiations (October 5th) to build support from the largely disgruntled workforce, showing that there is in fact an alternative to blindly accepting attacks on working conditions.
Branch demands are to: restore income levels, institute a non-discrimination clause, and to bring teaching loads back down to their previous levels, amongst others. Negotiations resulted in deadlock. The new president’s yes-men notified us that the school will never agree to any of our demands, although many are largely small and symbolic. The new president has arrogantly decided that he won’t attend any negotiations, as it is “not worth his time”. Rather than discourage members, it has had the opposite affect and we are prepared to fight.
This is an exciting time for the Osaka Gaigo branch. We intend to step up the pressure until the new president agrees to meet with us and start negotiating in good faith. Leaflettings aimed at students are planned. Students are already feeling the effects of their teachers’ heavy workloads. They need to understand this is a direct result of management attacks on working conditions.
Ironically, the attack on working conditions comes just as management has elected to give themselves hefty bonuses to celebrate the college’s 25th anniversary. When asked why the majority of teachers weren’t receiving such bonuses, management stated that it was only tenured staff who had contributed to the development of the school.