Ashiya Gakuen - A Tale Of Dubious Behaviour, Mystery, And Intrigue

Ashiya Gakuen is composed of Ashiya University, Junior College, High School, Junior High School, and an attached Kindergarten. The university head-hunted Mr Oyagi, ex-rugby player and TV personality, to be Board Chairperson.

Soon, fraudulent accounting, the mixing of public and private matters, and improper use of assets began. Some people, including a head teacher at the High School blew the whistle alerting people. But Oyagi escalated the oppression of workers such as threatening and forcing some people to resign.

Against these moves, almost all Japanese teachers unionized and cooperation with the General Union Branch (composed of foreign teachers). Both unions started the joint struggle under our national federation, National Union of General Workers.


Oyagi made two bad moves that attracted attention for their dubious nature. Firstly, trying to crack down on both unions, Oyagi hired ex-Chair of "Trade Union Confederation in Hyogo" as a union buster and this man complicated collective bargaining. Secondly, Oyagi's use of an official university car to visit his mistress was very problematic. This was exposed by the media and became a large scandal.

Oyagi made matters worse when he went on to appoint both his mistress, and the “union buster”, as guest professors at Ashiya Gakuen. The “positions” came with high salaries but mysteriously enough, without any teaching load.

Furthermore, it came to light that Oyagi gave himself an exhorbitant 6 million yen a year pay increase – in secret! When discovered, Union members rushed to inform the Board of Trustees of Ashiya Gakuen. An emergency public meeting was held October 25th. In front of the eyes of many union members, the wron gdoing by the Board of Directors was announced and the removal of the Board Chairperson, Oyagi, was decided. The Secretary General who had colluded with Oyagi and Oyagi's mistress resigned and the ex-Chair of "Trade Union Confederation in Hyogo" was expelled from the collective bargaining. Mr.Aoi, the vice-President of Ashiya Gakuen Alumni Association became the new Board Chairperson.

On November 3oth, with the presence of this new Board Chairperson, the two unions demanded Ashiya Gakuen "Pursue liability of Oyagi, complete the expulsion of all bad directors and the “union buster”, withdrawal of unreasonable punishments and transfers, confirm the rights of union activities and so on."

The new Board Chairperson agreed with unions about launching a truth-finding investigation and reinstatement. The Chairperson also asked that National Union of General Workers, Ashiya Gakuen Teachers' Union and General Union to cooperate with the Board in the futute.

Even during the last 2 years, the fight for democracy of unions and teachers has never been crushed. After everything, the normal management of Ashiya Gakuen and labor-management relations are going to restart now.

(Translated directly from the Japanese)


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