1 October 1998, Kumanichi Shimbun
Kenritsu University President
President Teshima of Kumamoto prefectural university has decided to not renew the contracts of six foreign language teachers assigned to 'part-time irregular status' (contract term 1 year), affiliated with the foreign language education center of Kendai, who teach English
The teacher are all foreigners and had argued that 'employing only foreigners on these types of contracts is discrimination on the basis of nationality'.
President Teshima said 'discussion with the prefecture has begun on hiring new teachers on the same basis as their Japanese counterparts, beginning next year'
The resolution was through a council of the deans of the faculties. According to the president, no objections were raised at the meeting
The 'irregular part-time language teachers' organized to form the 'Kumamoto General Union (chairperson: Cynthia Worthington) and asked for an improvement in treatment, going on strike in June.
Three of the six teachers who are union members are slated to lose their positions.
The president said 'Within the university, the strike led to a confusing situation. We must normalize the management of the university, but we are not trying to crush the union'
On the first, the union requested the president enter into negotiations and asked that the policy of non-renewal of contract be withdrawn pending the outcome of those negotiations.
Cynthia Worthington, chairperson, said, 'We have received no direct contact from the president and we are surprised to hear of this sudden decision. We feel it is very one-sided, making it seem as if the matter has already been decided, especially as there has been no offer during the ongoing negotiations.