News

Chris English Masters Kyoto

We often report on the larger schools but here is a report from a smaller school. A long time member recently heard that there were mistakes in pay checks. After reviewing his records, he realised there were errors dating back as far as 5 years.

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Shakai Hoken @ Epion Mabuchi

Shakai Hoken has been a hot topic within the union for quite a while now. It became a problem at Epion when a member received a demand from the ward office for two years back payments of Kokumin Kenko Hoken.

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Working conditions in free fall at Osaka Gaigo.

Two rounds of negotiations and numerous informal meetings have been held with OGSG since May, but have proved fruitless. In the past year incomes have been cut and class-loads for contract full-timers have been increased. The second semester saw part-time teachers losing an average of two-classes per week without prior notice.

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Berlitz Newsletters

Check here regularly for our latest Berlitz newsletters. Feel free to download them & distribute them in your workplace. We also have posting rights for all schools so let us know if you would like to pin them up on the school bulletin board.

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Small Schools Matter Too

Even though the General Union has won many well noted changes in the big eikaiwa chains, we are less well known for dealing with problems at small schools. If you are a union member working at a small school, these following news items should be of interest to you, and help you think of ways that you too can improve your working conditions.

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GU wins insurance at Riseisha High School

Our members enquired at their school about Shakai Hoken and were offered two options for their 2005 contract: one with full pay and no enrolment, and the other with enrolment and 55,000 yen cut in salary.

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Two Teacher School - Joining before the problem helps secure victory.

A teacher, recognizing that his contract had strange conditions regarding termination, contacted the union and decided to join. The contract stated that those who quit their contracts mid term give up their monthly salary and agree to work for 1,000yen per hour. The union believes that this is not only illegal, but does not achieve the goal of keeping teachers, it only encourages them to quit with little notice.

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Kun'ei High School teachers win Health and Pension Rights

The non-renewal of a teacher at Kunei High School gave the union an organizing opportunity which has led to the formation of a union branch.

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Kyoto Seika Daigaku

In the last issue of the e-news we reported on a University in Kyoto which was planning to arbitrarily change part-time lecturers' contracts to their disadvantage. We are happy to report that after all the teachers joined the union, and a show of solidarity, Kyoto Seika Daigaku, has pulled back from the changes, for now.

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NOVA not enrolling foreign instructors on social insurance

(Translation of Asahi Shimbun report on Nova breaking Shakai Hoken Law)

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Late Wages at Lang, Hiroshima

The threat of being named in an Unfair Labour Practice Case and civil proceedings has finally got the attention of the “silent” foreign national co-director of Lang.

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Kid's English - A city community centre run English class

Kids'English recently announced an arbitrary pay cut of 20% upon a member.

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Big Brother is Watching

Video cameras installed in classrooms at Shin Aoyama Language Center are causing members of management some confusion as they attempt to define their usage to inquisitive instructors.

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February 2005 University Roundup

from the February 2005 National Union Voice

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Awajishima Board of Education

The amalgamation of a number of small country Boards of Education into one city Board of Education saw them decide to begin using JET teachers provided by the central government.

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Nagoya : Institute of Technology

As part of its privatisation restructuring plan, Nagoya Institute of Technology is non-renewing part-timers en masse, Japanese and foreign at the end of March.

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Nagoya XXX University

A member has been working at this university, with 2 koma (classes) per week, for over 5 years.

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Victory at Lang, Hiroshima

Lang is a small school with about 10 teachers in Hiroshima. It is infamous for unpaid and late wages. It had only just been sued by a Japanese staff member for 600,000 yen of unpaid wages when a member came to us about not having been paid 40,000 yen of his final salary.

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Kyoto Gaidai - Union stops koma cuts

One member came to us after notification of a koma cut, and after discussion with the union was convinced not to allow the cut to go ahead.

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NOVA Socialization Policy Ruled Illegal

On 24 December 2004, judgment was passed at Osaka District Court in an unfair dismissal case brought against Nova by a General Union member.

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December 2004 University Roundup

Otemon University: Union victory over koma cuts. The university has withdrawn their proposed cuts for a union member.

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'No Sex Please, You're Teachers'

Nova teachers unhappy with rules, reports "I feel offended that anyone would tell me who I can or can't hang out with," says Brendan (not his real name), one of 6,000 foreign language instructors employed by Nova Corp. in Japan.

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Bar backs GU on NOVA's socialisation policy

Human Rights Committee judges NOVA's policy violation of human rights

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YMCA members win pay raise!

At the beginning of the Shunto Season (spring bargaining), the Osaka YMCA warned the traditional annual wage increase bargained with the union was in jeopardy.The union's answer was simple; if the company couldn't afford the pay raise for all full time foreign teachers, just give the union teachers a raise.

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Nichibei president worried that 'sturdy foreign men' causing trouble near Umeda School

On 24 March 2004, the General Union received a letter from Mr Tamotsu Kanehisa, president of Nichibei English Service (Nichibei Eigo Gakuin). In this letter he complained that "sturdy foreign men (though one of them is Japanese) were standing on both sides or one side of the corridor"

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Osaka Bar Association urges NOVA to lift non-socialization policy

The Osaka Bar Association on Tuesday urged Osaka-based Nova Co foreign language school to lift a ban on foreign teachers dating students and to nullify past dismissals of teachers for breaking the rule.

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Osaka Bar Association Ruling Against NOVA Socialisation Policy

24 February 2004 NOVA Corporation Sadao Takanashi President, Osaka Bar Association

Letter of Recommendation

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Discriminatory Practices at the YMCA

"We, the YMCAs in Japan, learning from the life of love and service manifested in Jesus Christ shall carry on the following mission in collaboration with other YMCAs throughout the world. We shall strive to preserve human rights, seeking justice and fairness."

Osaka YMCA is a quasi-religious organization purporting to follow the ethics of Jesus in its business dealings. Publicly, YMCA espouses a policy of fighting against discrimination but is in fact a patriarchy that fails to address the need for equal opportunities for both female and foreign employees.

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February 2004 University Roundup

from the February 2004 National Union Voice

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Kansai Ohkura High School

Join now! The GU has shown we can get things done.

Kansai Ohkura High School We won a satisfactory settlement in a non-renewal case here this month, and to all foreign and Japanese teachers at Kansai Ohkura now, we’d like to say: Join now! The GU has shown we can get things done.

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