News

ECC Union Meeting in Nagoya, Sunday October 6th

New to ECC? New to Nagoya? Interested in finding out more about your union? Come along to the ECC union meeting and meet the Nagoya branch reps, non-members are more than welcome.

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Branch declared at Nippon Steel & Sumikin Intercom

On September 30, General Union members working at Nippon Steel & Sumikin Intercom declared a union branch. Members with over 15 years of service with the company are concerned about their job security and worsening working conditions. The company has already implemented salary cuts for teachers and hinting at non-renewing teachers contracts.

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A new wave of union activism in GU Berlitz branch

After the biggest union meeting of Berlitz union members at the end of August, the union has submitted demands to raise wages, protect part time teachers from arbitrary cuts in lessons taught, and to make sure that Berlitz teachers are paid for all the work they do.

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Kansai Gaidai - 15 out leafleting!

The past year has seen enormous growth in our branch at Kansai Gadai but members are keen to see numbers increase even more - there is strength in unity.

This morning, fifteen people were out spreading news of the union to non-members at the entrance to the university. Twelve Kansai Gaidai teachers were supported by three members of the General Union Executive Committee.

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Peppy Kids Club Strikes

Standard - on strikeSome time back, iTTTi Japan effectively fired our branch chair by non-renewing him after eight years at Peppy Kids Club. The grounds were flimsy at best and we believe it was for union activity. He was making progress in organizing Japanese teachers and the company was scared.

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August 2013 Gaba Negotiations - new issues covered

On Monday August 26, 2013 the Gaba Branch of the GU held negotiations with Gaba Corporation. Topics discussed included three main topics: paid training, a proper grievance procedure for dealing with workplace problems, and also the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace. 

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Union wins job back for fired disabled Nova teacher

Nova recently fired a long term employee, and union member, due to his disability. This was part of a series of actions harassing our member because he is disabled. Needing the job badly, our member had stood by as they cut his work hours 2 years running, along with cutting his shakai hoken (health insurance & pension).

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Collective agreement with ECC secures member employment

On July 29 2013, the General Union and ECC finalized a collective labour agreement over contract renewals. This new agreement gives union members extra protection from non-renewal and the new contract renewal guidelines introduced by ECC in April.

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Nova: Stop firing disabled workers!

EB is a long term employee of Nova. He was there when the bankruptcy happened. For some time now, he has had a neurological condition. It does not affect the quality of his lessons, nor has there been student complaints.

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Gaba Incentive Survey

For lessons from May 2013 onwards Gaba changed the incentive system. Two changes were made: the first was paying an additional 200 yen for morning weekday peak lessons (the F-peak incentive), this was a good increase for morning instructors, and Gaba and the General Union signed a collective agreement over it.

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Gaba pay increase - collective agreement signed

In an historic first, the General Union and Gaba Corporation have signed a collective agreement guaranteeing a pay increase. All instructors will now receive an extra 200 yen per lesson for the first three morning weekday lessons. This is a 13.3% increase for A-belt instructors, which are approximately half of Gaba's instructor workforce.

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11 July. Strike at Osaka Gaigo.

While Japanese and foreign members at Osaka Gaigo extended last week's strike deadline in hopes of a better offer from their employer by 9 July, management's weak offer will lead to a Thursday, 11 July strike.

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So, what has the union ever done for me?

The Gaba branch of the GU was founded in September 2007. It was founded by Gaba instructors, for Gaba instructors. After the branch was founded, and asked for improvements:

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Beware: ECC proposing flawed changes

This April, ECC management announced major changes to teachers' working conditions including new contract renewal guidelines and revisions to teachers' work codes.

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No Borders International School

 Having asked their employer to enroll them in health & pension (shakai hoken) and unemployment insurance, teachers became frustrated when No Borders insisted that teachers pay ridiculously high premiums. The premiums were so inflated that we suspect No Borders was attempting to have teachers pay the company's part of the premiums.

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A win at No Borders International School

Having asked their employer to enroll them in health & pension (shakai hoken) and unemployment insurance, teachers became frustrated when No Borders insisted that teachers pay ridiculously high premiums. The premiums were so inflated that we suspect No Borders was attempting to have teachers pay the company's part of the premiums.

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The 19 minute question

In the past, ECC teachers punched in and out using time cards. With the introduction of the IC system, teachers touching in or out, outside of the permitted time frame (19 minutes), results in a "system error". These “system errors” are not errors, but system flags that require a decision on whether to pay overtime.

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Job security at ECC...coming soon??

The General Union's campaigning for job security at ECC has seen some major changes. From this spring ECC will begin to introduce a system that allows some teachers to become seishain. Native teachers now have the opportunity to be promoted to seishain with recommendations from their supervisors.

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Take the Annual ECC Teachers' Survey

It's that time of year - time to take the Annual ECC Teacher's Survey. What do you think about the new SD evaluation? Are you happy with your salary increase? Many ECC employees get bonuses,shouldn't teachers? There's also controversy!

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General Union Gaba Branch Hanami

Following on from the Christmas party held in December last year, the branch decided to hold a Hanami party in Tokyo's Yoyogi Park. It was the first event of this type that the branch had held, and despite some worrying weather in the days beforehand, the day itself was warm and sunny.

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Pay Negotiations at ECC

In line with ECC's improved financial state, the General Union submitted an across the board 10 percent pay raise demand for instructors.

From the beginning, ECC rejected the percentage increase submitted by the union but said they were prepared to offer pay increases for 2013. Pay raises will be based on individual performance and vary depending on district performance.

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Job Security for ECC teachers

Winning enrollment in shakai hoken "Employees' Health and Pension" was a huge victory for members working at ECC providing them and their families with the protection that it is standard for full time workers. More teachers are now staying at ECC longer, but job security is limited to a one-year contract.

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Gaba Assures Union: "We are Determined To Improve Working Conditions"

On Monday March 5th 2013 the General Union Gaba branch held our first collective bargaining session of the year with Gaba.

Five members and three union representatives attended, and we made it clear that we expected improvements, and ultimately, the company said that they were "determined to improve conditions" for instructors, and that they were considering increasing the TNT bonus and the per lesson pay rate.

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It’s a matter of dignity – Opinion Piece

I work at one of the "better" high schools. It is that is basically a feeder school to a few universities in the Kansai region. As a part-timer, or hijokin in Japanese, I am treated well enough. I'm even enrolled in health and pension insurance.

All that changed this week as I attempted to prepare for the new semester. With a rebuilding program almost completed, we moved into new classrooms and offices.

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Wearing jackets – What you said

Back in December we asked the question "Does wearing a jacket make you a better teacher?" In 2 months we had a total of 138 respondents and the answer was a resounding "No". All 138 people said that jackets have no bearing on the quality of teaching.

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YOUR rights are at risk!

ECC wants to restrict your private lives, and dictate who you can socialize with. Your personal rights are endangered. Now’s a good time to support yourself and your colleagues in fighting for our basic human rights. Being a member protects YOU and your working conditions. Say NO to ECC management’s proposed “no-socialization with students” policy. The union is concerned that you could be disciplined, non-renewed or even fired for:

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Berlitz - Report of November collective bargaining

1. CTL Courtesy Calls
We have been told that MIs will be asked to inform the office staff to tell teachers about CTLs when possible. We wish to see if this is happening. Please let us know if you are not informed about your CTLs.

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Bettering life at Berlitz since 1993

Did you know that many of the working conditions that teachers now enjoy have been negotiated between the General Union and Berlitz?

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Berlitz collective bargaining - November 2012

  1. A courtesy call when lessons are cancelled late. We have been told that ISs will be asked to inform the staff to tell teachers about CTL lessons when possible. We wish to see if this is happening. Please let us know if you are not informed about your CTLs.

2. Allowing all teachers to participate in training seminars and workshops. ISs will be informed to let all teachers know about upcoming training and to allow teachers to participate if it fits into the LC’s training budget. Let us know if you’re being informed.

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Berlitz union wins raise, bonus in suit settlement (Japan Times)

¥110 million claim against teachers, union execs dropped, ending four-year fight

The four-year legal battle between management and teachers at Berlitz Japan was declared over Thursday as both sides signed an agreement to end the company's lawsuit against union officials.

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