For many months now the union has been trying to settle a number of different problems with Doshisha.
As you may know, Doshisha is a major and important institution in the Kansai area and as an organisation with a good reputation.
The union expects that they take their labour relations seriously and act responsibly to meet their obligations to their employees.
As you can imagine we were shocked when Doshisha answered these obligations with intransigence and even fired back with contract non-renewals of union members working in the girls junior and senior high school.
So what problems was the union trying to settle?
Unpaid overtime in the girl’s school where teachers working all day like regular teachers are paid as part timers.
Their use of the 10 year exception for the granting of unlimited term contracts at Doshisha University and Doshisha Women’s College.
This is a well-known university trick to limit access to unlimited term contracts, a trick that many less famous universities have backed off from knowing that they were wrong in their application of the rule.
Even Tokyo University did a u-turn on their application of the exception.
A 30% pay cut for a member at the university who with a five-year contract didn’t believe there was a need to worry about changes to working conditions.
Little did the member know that there was a rule cutting pay once a worker in the member’s category turns 60 years old.
Even the university agrees that this rule is outdated but nonetheless refuse to change it.
In collective bargaining they stated that this regulation was made in 1984 and is not suitable to the current situation in society especially as laws around working age have changed.
Finally, in their worst of all attacks on teachers, they failed to renew the contracts of two members and, with the cooperation of a dispatch company called Global Partners, fired another member.
One reason for a non-renewal was that the Girls School has a two year limit on contracts, so they applied it to a member currently having worked 3.5 years.
Doshisha will now be given one final chance to respond clearly that they wish to solve these problems or will face the union in dispute starting with complaints filed in the Kyoto District Court, the Labour Commission, and Labour Standards Office.
We hope that those at Doshisha with the authority to settle these matters come to their senses and engage in honest collective bargaining as is their duty under the Trade Union Law.