A Cool 50: GU end-of-summer University Campaign – Hands Off Our Koma! Don’t touch!

Oct 2, 2022

Part-time GU members at 50 universities and colleges are demanding that their employers do not cut any koma (lessons) from their schedules in 2023. We have been running this campaign since 2010 and we find it a proactive way to deal with potential koma cuts. Before this time, the union dealt with koma cuts as they happened and learned a very valuable lesson; once koma cuts have been made, it is often difficult to get them back ever.

Part-timers spend years building a schedule that will support them and their families. Piecing together days and periods, travelling to different locations every day and even in the same day that one change in days, one cut in koma, can send their livelihoods tumbling.

That’s why we’ve been running our Hands Off Our Koma campaign and seen more and more members sign up to it demanding job security from their employers.

Unlimited Term Contracts (UTC)
Another important piece of job security for part timers is unlimited term contracts. Simply put, after five years of continuous employment (any number of contract renewals taking you over five years), the employer must grant you the unlimited term contract if you apply. .

While there are differences of opinion on whether your employer can cut your koma year to year if you have an unlimited term contract, the union’s position is unequivocal; we believe that Article 8 of the Labour Contract Law, the law on which UTCs are based, prevents employers from cutting koma arbitrarily. If not, then what benefit would UTCs have for any worker anywhere. “You can continue your employment, but you have no classes or no hours,” is not the spirit of the law which was clearly to improve job security. Would universities be fighting so hard to prevent UTCs if it were any other way?

So don’t delay! Only 40 percent of eligible workers in Japan even know about this right and only 30 percent have applied. The GU has a high rate of membership with UTCs and we urge everyone who is eligible to apply.

Read and share our leaflet for more information on gaining an unlimited term contracts.  Send our leaflet to a friend: https://gu.generalunion.org/hands_off_E.html