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CEART Allegation by ZENKYO 3/11 Disaster
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【NEWS】July 1,2014
ZENKYO Delegation Submits to CEART Additional Information regarding Teachers’ Long and Intensive Work and Problem of Temporary Teachers
ZENKYO delegation made up of representatives of its local affiliates on July 1st called on the CEART Secretariat at ILO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. They presented additional information regarding the allegation filed on January 8th concerning excessively long intensive work of teachers and the increased use of temporary teaching staff.  They learned that the CEART had on two occasions requested the Government of Japan to reply to ZENKYO allegation.  They also got inputs regarding the challenges that teachers unions in the world have to take up, including deteriorating working conditions and increasing precarious employment of teachers. 

The delegation was met with by Mr. John Sendanoie of CEART Secretariat and Ms. Amrita Sietaram of ILO Bureau for Workers Activities.  It handed them seven reports from ZENKYO’s national headquarters and local affiliates including ZENKYO’s Unit for Temporary Teachers, local High School Teachers’ and Staff Unions of Hokkaido, Kochi, Nagano and Niigata Prefectures and Kyoto City. 

Mr. John Sendanoie commented that these reports and the discussion with the delegation allowed him to grasp more concretely the problems facing Japanese teachers and helped him to better understand the essence of the allegation.  He added: “the CEART has asked the Japanese Government to send its reply by end April.  As the Government did not reply by then, the CEART again requested to send the reply by end July.  With or without the response of the Government, the allegation filed by ZENKYO will be examined by the CEART periodic meeting in 2015”.

In view of the CEART 12th session in 2015 and with the cooperation of its affiliate unions, ZENKYO intends to provide further additional information to the CEART to obtain strong recommendations to the Government and local education boards.

【Delegation members share their thoughts】
◇ Kazuo OJIKA, General Secretary Aomori Prefectural Teachers and Staff Union, in charge of temporary teachers: “The major fruit of the meeting with CEART representatives is the understanding that it is worth filing the allegation to redress the situation of temporary teachers that constitutes a blunt violation of the equal pay for equal work principle and that determined union actions is indispensable to solve the problem of temporary teachers. This is an important suggestion for our future campaigning. 
◇ Kazunori Hatakeyama, General Secretary, Kochi Prefectural Teachers’ and Staff Union: “I had thought that CEART as well as ILO had little to do with me, but the exchange of views on ZENKYO’s allegation made me feel that they were actually very close to us.  They do understand our problem and think with us about how we can solve it.  I felt it from many questions they asked to us.”
◇ Shingo Kimura, President, Niigata Public High School Teachers’ and Staff Union: “They received with astonishment each piece of information about the situation of temporary teachers in Niigata Prefecture. They said that they had never heard of any example that is more contrary to ILO conventions.  I felt that our visit was meaningful and valuable when hearing them say that.  “Education renaissance” implemented by Abe Government is storming in Japan but we were comforted and encouraged to know that we were the ones to contain it by mobilizing international public opinion”. 
◇ Fumiaki Sekihara, Assistant General Secretary, Hokkaido High School Teachers’ and Staff Union: “Regarding the case of a retiring teacher virtually forced to “decline” the rehiring offer,  the CEART representatives expressed sympathy and understanding, taking into account the specific conditions of Hokkaido.  I was very impressed when they pointed out the significance of changing political power relations by ZENKYO’s actions to resolve pressing issues such as lack of education budget.
◇ Yumiko Yoshida, Assistant General Secretary, Nagano High School Teachers’ and Staff Union; “It was awakening for me to learn that the ILO has a structure that allows the dialogue among three parties, namely the representatives of the States, Employers and Workers, which is unique among UN agencies and that all its activities are based on a noble ethic sustained by the principle of gender equality.  This put me face to face with the immaturity of Japanese society and importance of ZENKYO’s activities.
 
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