School closures hit part-time teachers
NHK -- Mar 06
As many schools in Japan close temporarily to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, part-time teachers and other school staff face a loss of income.

A labor union in Tokyo received inquiries from 54 school staff members from last Friday, when the government requested the closures, to Tuesday. In those five days, the union got one-fourth the number of inquiries it received all of last year.

Japan's education ministry has asked local boards of education to properly handle part-time teachers' wages, saying they could prepare for classes or support home schooling even without students in school.

But part-time teachers, school kitchen staff and bus drivers say there's been no explanation of how much, if any, payment they will receive while schools are closed.

Some said that if they received only 60 percent of their normal salary as stipulated by law, they would not be able to live on the reduced amount.

Manabu Sato of the Private School Teachers Union says in addition to compensation during the closure, some teachers are worried about their jobs in the new school year starting next month.

He stresses the need for measures to protect such already poorly paid workers who are being hit hardest by the school closures.

News source: NHK
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