Kyoto Sangyo University (Sandai) has cut foreign part-time workers’ pay this year by more than 23%. Sandai has demonstrated that the university does not value the hard-working and dedicated teachers who teach there.
How did Sandai reduce wages by nearly 1/4?
Sandai changed the koma pay structure. In 2018 the university split up the pay rate by dividing the full amount between the base pay and added allowances. Then in 2023 Sandai cut the last of the allowances away from basic salary. Voilà! Nearly a quarter of workers’ salaries was taken from workers.
Why would teachers agree to this?
In 2018 teachers were presented with a document outlining this whole plan and teachers did sign. Why? Because if they didn’t sign, they wouldn’t get their next contract. Contract renewals are not between two equal parties; you sign what the employer gives you or you get no work. (This power disparity is one reason you need a union.) Who wouldn’t sign, especially as the brunt of the cut wouldn’t come for five more years.
How to fight back!
The union is now examining this cut in light of the Labour Contract Law which does not allow changes to working conditions without the employee’s agreement. Many of those who signed this agreement back in 2018 have now become unlimited contract workers, meaning that the university cannot just change their wage in 2023. The university will argue that the employees already signed away their rights back in 2018. Well, our position is that teachers did not sign those agreements voluntarily, they signed in order to keep their jobs.