Mainly non-regular employees, the number of people who are in trouble due to the epidemic is numerous. Among them, the external lecturers of universities who have been trapped in low salaries and poor research conditions for a long time have further increased their burden in response to the urgent promotion of online lectures by universities during the epidemic. According to the External Lecturer Union of Universities in the Kansai and Metropolitan Areas of Japan, in 2020, as the university's teaching mode is urgently switched to online teaching, the union has received responses from many members that the preparation time for lessons has increased significantly, and the working hours have also increased exponentially. Official teachers and students can obtain subsidies unconditionally when they purchase machines and equipment for online teaching. In contrast, many external lecturers can only buy computers, camera lenses, headphones and other equipment at their own expense.
The wave of termination of employment is on the rise Kumiko Hanaba, an honorary professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, said, "Due to the epidemic, the issue of the treatment and status of external lecturers has become increasingly prominent, and it is necessary to take countermeasures as soon as possible." "Since the 1990s, the issue of external lecturers has been brought up. However, because they are different from students and regular teachers, they cannot carry out number list an organized questionnaire survey, and it is difficult to grasp their actual situation. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology has not made official statistics on how many external lecturers there are in the country. Universities, gaps between different universities, professional fields, gender, age, the situation is also very different, and the problem is very complex.” At the end of March 2021, the group JAICOWS (the "Environmental Improvement of Women Scientific Researchers", a group mainly composed of members of Japanese academic conferences), of which Professor Hanaba is the chairman, issued a booklet "The Current Situation of External Lecturers! ".
This booklet was prepared by JAICOWS with the assistance of the Kansai Area and Metropolitan Area External Lecturers Union, based on an online questionnaire conducted from January to March 2018. "This survey was carried out in conjunction with the fifth anniversary of the implementation of the Labor Contract Law, which was revised in April 2013. With the rising tide of employment terminations, everyone's sense of crisis has grown, and more than 700 responses have been collected. " The revised labor contract law introduces the "five-year rule", that is, if a fixed-term worker who has worked in the same unit for five consecutive years applies, then the next time the labor contract is renewed, it can be converted into an indefinite employment contract. "The contract for external lecturers is signed once a year, and their status is inherently unstable. Top national and prestigious universities and private schools always want to avoid indefinite employment, so there is a trend of terminating employment before the five-year contract expires.