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Victory in Kobe – Some good news for a change to share.
A university in Kobe has decided to reach an agreement before the Osaka Labor Relations Commission could reach a verdict. The school has agreed to pay the full 100% of the contract to the instructor and EWA member.
In October last year the second semester began and our member showed up prepared to teach his class and there was only one student enrolled. He showed up for the second class again ready to teach and was told that no other students had enrolled and the one student had decided to drop the class. The school offered to pay for the two October classes and cancelled classes in November only, which worked out to be about one third of the previously agreed to contract. In December we held a collective bargaining session with the university but they refused to budge. In the negotiation we determined that there had been no claims or complaints against the teacher but the university refused to admit their responsibility in recruiting students for the class or paying the teacher the balance of the contract. Since the university was apparently not going to accept their responsibility EWA decided to take our case to the Osaka Labor Relations Commission. The Commission requested that the two sides reach an agreement on their own while they decided the case. After many back and forth emails between EWA and the school’s lawyer they finally decided to pay 100% of the amount of the original contract.
So all in all a great victory for EWA and our member in Kobe.
Due to a stipulation in the settlement we have agreed not to mention the schools name.
Chair, EWA- TNC (TransNational Caucus)
Union Made Justice
This is a brief explanation of the great job the Union recently did on my behalf in negotiations with the university in Kobe. On the first day of the autumn semester 2019, one of my two classes there unusually had only a single student. I hoped more would enroll, but upon arrival for work the following week was told that the student felt understandably nervous to be alone in class and would not proceed, and as there were no other enrollments, the class would be cancelled for the semester.
I was then informed that I could expect no remuneration for the cancelled class because I was “a part-timer” and they didn’t have to pay. It was my understanding that I could have expected at least 50% of any wages due to the lack of notification, and this being in line with many other colleges.
This is when it is good to belong to a Union that protects workers rights. Thanks to the great work on my behalf by the EWA, the university agreed to pay 100% of the cancelled classes. This was not without a fight, because they went from offering zero, to a maximum of 50%, but thanks to the negotiating skills of Neo and the EWA justice was done. Let’s hope that education employers do the right thing in future, and pay teachers for any loss in revenue that occurs through no fault of their own.