From The Archives: Youthful Adventures With Employment Term Limits In The 1990s

As is often the case with all things in life: sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose. In this case, back in the 1990s, we landed somewhere in-between.

The Higashi-Osaka Board of Education had one of the earliest direct-hire programs in all of Japan (outside of JET, that is). It was, at the time, a great program; unfortunately, there was a one major problem: a 3-year term limit placed on employment AFTER teachers were employed.

Thus, in our infancy as a union, we set out to smash the term limit completely...

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Good progress was made, and union members won an extension of 2 more years to their employment. This emboldened us and we were keen to do away with the limits completely. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts (including a hunger strike!), we were unable to squash the term limits entirely. Youth is a powerful thing, but reality isn't always so easy...

A little humility can be its own reward, though, and experience is never something to be scoffed at.


Saying that, though: limits have been broken at the Nishinomiya Board of Education along with the Osaka Prefectural Board of Education, as well as in some private sector schools and universities.

In fact, right now, we are working on breaking them at Osaka City Board of Education, too.

It's proving to be a hard nut to crack, but we've been able to get the city to agree to allow people to reapply for re-employment after the first 3 years.

We believe this should be an automatic renewal process, however, and will keep pushing until the goal becomes the standard.

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union(@)generalunion.org
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