While the threat of dispatch was only a rumor, it had to be taken seriously. To compound the matter, the Board of Education (BoE) was implementing a 50,000 yen per month pay cut – retroactively. Some teachers were informed the back payments would all be deducted from their next pay checks. The underlying current seemed to the GU that the teachers either accept the pay cuts or their jobs would go to dispatch. After the first round of demands, the BoE backed down over the back payment. Yet, they continued to insist they would proceed with the salary. In the midst of talks, the General Union made the news over our push for direct hire in Aichi Prefecture. The news traveled to Yamanashi, and shortly before negotiations, we were informed the Board of Education was withdrawing the salary cuts. With the salary problems solved, negotiations went ahead but with a very different agenda. Discussions focused on the quality of education and why direct hire is so important – for teachers and students alike. The Board of Education has assured us they have no intention of using dispatch teachers and will continue with the direct hire program.