University teachers demand unemployment insurance rights

The National Unemployment Insurance (Koyou Hoken) is running a deficit and the government is attempting to increase contributions to pay for it.

However, it has come to light that 123 members of the Association of Private Universities have been evading registering their employees on the scheme since its introduction in 1975. The Universities are reportedly saving some 33,000,000,000 yen a month by evading their legal responsibility. Many private high schools where our members work are also not enrolling their employees on the scheme. General Union members at Kwansei Gakuin have demanded to be enrolled on the scheme, but the university has so far refused, despite the visit of government inspectors to the college. In another case that received widespread publicity in the Japanese press, a member of a sister union of the GU filed a complaint against Kansai University (Kandai) with the Public Prosecutors, because of their refusal to enroll him on the scheme. It now appears that the crisis in the insurance scheme has finally pushed the government into taking action. The issue has been discussed at Cabinet level, and finally after 27 years they will do more than gently urging the universities to join the system. The Universities argue that their employees, “Don’t need to be on the scheme.” because there have been no bankruptcies at private universities, and because tenured staff get substantial redundancy payments from the private universities Social Insurance. However, with falling school roles there is no guarantee against bankruptcies in the future. In addition non-tenured staff, who make up an increasing percentage in many institutions, are specifically excluded from receiving the severance payments. The General Union believes the law should be fully enforced in all institutions employing workers. from the February 2002 National Union Voice

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