Educators deserve better conditions

For years I’ve been reading stories about the 40 percent of the workforce in irregular (part-time or temporary) employment, and this story (“Job-hopping hits seven-year high,” July 6) brings the first welcome news about a changing workforce.

As usual, though, I missed anything about the plight of the part-timers who make up 40 percent of the large education and academic workforce where, contrary to the business world, there are very limited opportunities and no changes on the horizon because therein lifetime employment and seniority are more than well-ensconced. I have only read some complaints by ALTs (assistant language teachers) about the hours and pay they suffer because of the “slave-labor” attitude some Japanese employers depend upon for their “educational” (profit-driven) institution’s survival.

But Japanese workers are even more represented among these forgotten part-timers who continuously are looking for full-time security with no institutional or governmental support. Why can’t one of your writers shed some light to the nation about this segment of the workforce? Of course, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe never mentions them as members of the workforce, except perhaps the nursery school workers that he supposedly wants to help to raise women power.

What about all of the other female (and male) workers in education and academia? Does all of society really take teachers for granted because they “love to teach?” Hence, they are not worthy of higher pay and shorter hours? What about karoshi among teachers?

Thanks for the recent story about karoshi in the medical field. Now I’d love to see some newsworthy empathy for the plight of the nation’s educators, who are not benefitting from stories like this current one to which I am responding.

CLIFFORD CLARKE
KYOTO

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.