GREAT NEWS FOR PART-TIME UNIVERSITY INSTRUCTORSAs the result of continuous petitions by the Tokyo-Area Part-time Teachers Union, along with assistance from other unions and numerous questions brought up in the Diet, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology substantially raised the government subsidy unit price from the 2004 academic year for all private university part-time instructors$B!G(B salaries by about 50 %.
In the case of the private university subsidy, which is tax money, the full-time instructor gets more of a share than part-time instructors. In an effort to reduce this kind of financial discrimination, even when the total sum of the private university subsidy does not increase as a whole, the part-time instructors$B!G(B auxiliary unit price should be increased. Otherwise, it will never be possible to close the huge gap between full-time and part-time subsidy benefits. Through collective bargaining with each university, we can look forward to negotiating salary increases for all part-time university instructors in Japan.
The next step is to ensure that the money from the subsidy is given to the part-time instructors and not misappropriated for other purposes. The Ministry of Education should recognize the human right of equal treatment and ensure that the money from the tax-funded subsidy reaches the part-time instructors. The Tokyo-Area Part-time Teachers Union and affiliated unions will seek the improvement of the private school subsidy mechanism, demand that $B!H(Bitems of expense$B!I(B be substantiated, request the disclosure of information, and ask that committees of the Diet keep everything in check. A member of the House of Representatives, Democratic Party member Seiichi Kaneda, agreed that there should be a system of checks and balances and said, $B!H(BIt should be made public how the tax-funded private university subsidy is actually used."
If you are a part-time teacher at a university in Japan and did not get a subsidy-based salary increase in April 2004, please feel free to contact us. We may be able to negotiate a salary increase for you.(MS)
UTU Survey 2004The University Teachers Union (UTU) representing foreign teaching staff at universities in Japan, has carried out a nationwide survey, $B!H(BEmployment Conditions of Foreign Nationals at Japanese Universities.$B!I(B About 350 full-time and part-time staff of 20 different nationalities ranging in age from 26 to 68 have replied to the questionnaire, many with additional comments on their experiences.
From the data received, UTU has conducted an analysis of the problems foreign lecturers face in connection with their work. A report on the survey and its results has been compiled and will be posted on UTU$B!G(Bs website http://www.utu-japan.org, where the survey questionnaire can also be viewed.
After further analysis and intensive discussion with the Part-time Lecturers Union- Tokyo Area, whose help was crucial in carrying out such a project, UTU has selected five major problems of foreign university staff. These will be presented as demands to the Ministry of Education and to the Ministry of Welfare and Labour at the beginning of 2005 to improve the working conditions for foreigners. UTU and the part-time lecturers unions of both the Tokyo Area and the Kansai are also considering the publication of the full report on the survey, the core demands presented to the ministries and the reactions of the ministerial bureaucrats on the demands, and other related problems.
UTU asks for the continued support of its activities to improve working conditions at Japanese universities. All interested teachers are welcome to join. Our special thanks go to our Japanese friends and colleagues of the part-time lecturers unions of Tokyo and Kansai for their liberality and energy, their practical assistance and unconditional support for the duration of this project.