Job and salary security for university teachers

Sep 19, 2012

No job security? Join the General Union
Do you, like thousands of other university teachers on one year contracts, face worry and anxiety over what next year’s schedule is going to bring? You may have taught the same classes at your university for over ten years, but years of hard-work and dedication can count for little when a simple change in the school’s curriculum can trigger a last search for alternative classes and possibly a drastic fall in income for you and your family. Do you view this as just fact of life, about which nothing can be done? The General Union believes that such fatalism merely ensures that present abuses will continue. We think teachers need to organise and be pro-active in order to win job security.

What can the General Union do for me?

  • As a union we have the legal right to negotiate with management over changes in working conditions for members.
  • The union has a strong record in protecting the koma of part time teachers.
  • At many universities we submit demands and negotiate in advance for no koma cuts or change in working conditions.
  • We have pre-consultation agreements with some universities. These commit the university to giving advance warning and discussing any changes in working conditions with the union.

Sudden class cancellations. What can be done?
Many universities expect teachers to make a commitment to classes and often to develop a syllabus by December of the previous year. However, it has become increasingly common for classes to be cancelled after the start of the semester. In particular, this is a problem with elective classes where schools have a policy of a minimum number of students being registered for a class before it is allowed to go ahead. In such cases, the teacher may only receive one months pay for the course. As well as being unfair, this is illegal under the Labour Standards Law. While the General Union believes universities should pay teachers fully for cancelled courses, the law states that they must pay at least 60%. If you find yourself in this situation contact the General Union immediately.

What’s the GU’s stance on class cancellations?

  • Obey the Labour Standards Law.
  • No to sudden cancellation of classes. If cancellation is unavoidable pay the teachers.

These are just a few of the issues that the General Union is taking up and campaigning on. In addition to negotiating with individual employers, through our national union we have annual negotiations with both the MEXT (Education Ministry) and Labour Ministry. Make sure that your voice is heard and your interests represented. Join the General Union now!