Union Issues Warning & Demands to Sapporo Board of Education

Here is the translation of an official warning sent by the General Union to Sapporo Board of Education over the recent ALT disaster. Please note that this is a rough translation. For a more accurate understanding read the original Japanese here.



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Sapporo City Board of Education is responsible for problems resulting in the suspension of English classes by ALTs. Therefore, the General Union is sending a warning to Sapporo City Board of Education.

A - The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare have been repeatedly saying, "As ALTs do not have teaching licenses, Team Teaching is possible with direct employment, and under the administration of the BoE and Japanese teachers.” The ministry has also stated “Subcontracting (gyomu itaku) cannot be used for Team Teaching" in official notifications including the one issued on August 28th, 2009. However, Sapporo BoE has continued the "bid for private companies leaving all its jobs to them" against the School Education Act, Labor Standards Act, Employment Security Act and Worker Dispatching Act.


B - To maintain the administrative power and obligation of BoEs and schools while securing stable and continuous personnel supply and the quality of education by ALTs, direct employment is the only way. It is the right time for Sapporo BoE to abolish any kinds of indirect employment such as dispatch, or subcontracting, because the result of the bid may lead to NOTHING.

Boards of Education in large cities are moving "from the JET program to direct employment by BoEs." Direct hire is many, cases is actually much cheaper than dispatch.

C - Basically, it is almost impossible for any single dispatch company to prepare such a big number of ALTs (65) like Sapporo needs in a short period. The reality is that no dispatch company has reserve ALTs and must start to recruit after winning the bid. Such a timeframe does not allow for real training or a thorough selection process.

On the side of ALTs, they apply to several companies and compare them. So, even if they are hired by one company, if another, better position becomes available, they easily resign. So, if NOVA tried its best to prepare the required number of ALTs even getting ALTs who had worked for Interac by the time Interac lost the contract with Sapporo BoE, it was inevitable for NOVA to fail to prepare the number of ALTs as written in the contract with Sapporo BoE.

D - After the scandal of Interac surfaced, the General Union, a multi-lingual consultation center and a multi-lingual union has been receiving numberless unbelievable cries such as, "I was dispatched to BoE by Interac but I have lost my job due to the failure of bid," "I was hired by NOVA being told that I would be able to work for the BoE but it is not true" and "I was asked by NOVA to move from Kansai to Sapporo to solve the shortage of personnel. I do not know what to do" and so on. In addition, it was on April 28th when those who had planned to work for NOVA received the rejection letter. It was a worse human rights violation than the job offer retraction.

E - It is out of the question that the company made a successful bid without any confidence about meeting requirements with avarice over the big money. Sapporo BoE is seriously responsible for ignoring basic difficulties of private companies and leaving all jobs to them.
As a result there are no conversation English classes May 2nd, and this has resulted in the serious loss of reliability in Sapporo BoE by pupils and guardians. At the same time, ALTs, who resigned from other companies, or moved their residences for this job in Sapporo, seriously suffer from sudden destruction or damage in their lives.


Demands
 
Branches of the General Union gave our urgent demands to Interac and NOVA. Both of them have replied, "We can do nothing. Please give your demands to Sapporo BoE."

This deplorable event is spreading nationwide via those who are victimized by NOVA and Interac. Sapporo BoE is regarded as "irresponsible and not fulfilling its responsibilities of employment."
 
It is clear that there is NO dispatch company who can stably secure such a big number of ALTs as 65. Even Interac and NOVA, big dispatch companies among others, have failed. Therefore, if Sapporo BoE tries a tender process again, you will see only reckless and gambling-oriented companies. The view, "Sapporo BoE is unreliable" has already spread among foreign teachers nationwide. It is your urgent task to recover your trust. Even dispatch companies may not join your bid. Therefore, it will be the only way to start the class for you to correct mistakes in the past, to apply improvement policies supported by broad people and to announce conditions of stable, legal and direct employment.

 
1. Stop the tender process and hire ALTs directly.

(No upper limit of the direct employment period should be set. All Labor Laws such as Labor Standards Act and Social Insurance Laws should be observed.)

2. Teachers, who had worked for Inretac and NOVA and were to work at Sapporo BoE should be employed primarily. It is completely unreasonable to fire all ALTs because of the cancellation of the contract due to the shortage of the number of ALTs, less than 65. If the shortage is seen after the direct employment mentioned above, it should be recruited urgently. This is the only reasonable way to swiftly start classes.

3. Sapporo BoE should make its responsibility clear for repeated troubles in the tender process and fulfil its apology and compensation to teachers who suffer from the "Cancellation of employment and dispatch."


Request of answer

Please send us your answers to our demands May 16th, 2016.

Please note that we may consider the collective bargaining or the press conference after examining your answers.

 


Additional information