Kyoto Seika Daigaku

In the last issue of the e-news we reported on a University in Kyoto which was planning to arbitrarily change part-time lecturers' contracts to their disadvantage. We are happy to report that after all the teachers joined the union, and a show of solidarity, Kyoto Seika Daigaku, has pulled back from the changes, for now.

Kyoto Seika signed contracts with lecturers in February, only to announce at the end of March that they were changing the criteria for elective courses to run. The result would have led to almost all part-time lecturers' classes being cancelled with a major cut in their pay. The announcement came too late for teachers to look for other work and was thus a major attack on the pay and conditions of our members.The union submitted demands and shortly after Kyoto Seika sent a reply stating that they would postpone changes for now but possibly institute them from 2006. While this is an initial victory, we still find proposed changes unacceptable. They remain a threat to the pay and conditions of our members and do nothing to maintain overall quality of education at Seika nor maintain a wide variety of courses for the students. Seika and other universities must not be allowed to worsen the quality of education. They must they be allowed to worsen conditions in the industry. Some people may think that all our members have to do is look for other work next year. Whilst that is possible, the question is, is it desirable? If more colleges follow Seika's lead (and if you remember last week's e-news you will see that changes are afoot elsewhere) then where are the jobs to jump to going to be? If you know of any changes taking place in your workplace, contact the union immediately, Time is always of the essence and as the Seika case shows, all the teachers standing firm together is our best defense.

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